HCMC set to merge downtown districts

By Le Tuyet   August 3, 2023 | 11:17 pm PT
HCMC set to merge downtown districts
Part of District 3, HCMC, seen from above, July 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Districts 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and Phu Nhuan in HCMC downtown do not meet the standards for a city’s district in terms of area and population and thus are subject to merger, heard a Thursday meeting.

As ruled by the legislative National Assembly, a city’s district should spread at least 35 sq.km and have a population of at least 150,000 living in at least 10 wards.

Each of the six HCMC districts in question spreads less than 7 sq.km each and has a population of less than 300,000 people.

Decree 117 issued by the government on July 30 said districts and communes to be merged are those having natural area and population size below 70% of the standard, or having area below 20% and population below 200% of the standards.

Therefore, all six districts of 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and Phu Nhuan are subjected to merger, Nguyen Van Hieu, an official from the city’s Department of Home Affairs, said.

Graphic by Khanh Hoang (mình tự làm thành Tiếng Anh)

The six HCMC's districts subject to mergers. Graphics by Khanh Hoang, Minh Nga

Hieu said as per current regulations, there are four cases that are not subject to merger arrangement: the boundaries of administrative units have been stable since 1945; areas with cultural, historic, and ethnic tradition values; traffic conditions; geographical locations [that might cause obstacles for the arrangement].

Currently, the Department of Home Affairs is coordinating with local authorities to review each commune and ward in those districts to build the merging plan.

The rule also said that the merger of administrative boundaries requires consultation with the people.

If more than half of the residents agree, the People's Councils at all levels shall discuss and vote for or against the arrangement.

After being approved by the city People’s Council, the city People's Committee will complete the plan and submit it to the Ministry of Home Affairs, for this ministry and the Ministry of Justice to appraise. Next, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the city will consult the government before reporting to the National Assembly.

HCMC now has 21 districts and one city. All of its districts have reached over 100% of the population standard.

Since 1975, the city has undergone seven arrangements of administrative units, with the latest being the merger of Districts 2, 9, Thu Duc into Thu Duc City in late 2020.

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