Little house on the highway: Woman faces eviction in southern Vietnam

By Phuoc Tuan and Nhu Quynh   June 17, 2017 | 11:35 pm PT
Little house on the highway: Woman faces eviction in southern Vietnam
The house of Bui Thi Na blocks a lane of September 2 Highway running through Vung Tau City. Photo by VnExpress/Nhu Quynh
Traffic has been swerving around the last house standing for the past ten years over a paperwork dispute.

Vehicles traveling on a highway running through southern Vung Tau City have been forced to avoid a two-story house that has completely blocked one lane of the road since it was expanded to a planned four lanes in 2007.

With the house standing in their way, motorbikes and pedestrians traveling on the September 2 Highway into the city have to turn merge with the truck and car lanes.

This situation has caused many accidents, according to locals.

But the owner of the house, Bui Thi Na, says it is not her responsibility.

Na, a teacher, said she has not allowed authorities to pull down her house in Nguyen An Ninh Ward to make way for the road due to errors on the paperwork.

Nguyen Tan Luc, the ward’s chairman, confirmed this, saying that the problem was not due to disagreements over compensation or land ownership, but a mistake made by authorities.

When his predecessors announced their decision to revoke her land and pay compensation, they did not file an official report.

Na said that it's been 10 years and she still hasn't received an official decision from authorities, so she and her family have chosen to keep their house despite 253 neighbors leaving for a resettlement area.

Motorbikes have to avoid the house and join the lanes for trucks and cars. Photo by VnExpress/Nhu Quynh

Motorbikes have to avoid the house and join the truck and car lanes. Photo by VnExpress/Nhu Quynh

Last year, Vung Tau City completed the paperwork related to her case but she still refused to cooperate, claiming that the authorities had not followed the land law or procedures related to revoking land. 

“She wants the council to officially announce the decision and for the necessary paperwork to be delivered to her front door. The paperwork must be signed by the city’s chairman, not the vice chairman, and she will not accept a photocopied file,” said Luc.

The city sent officials to talk with Na at her house on June 7 but they failed to convince her. Last week, they invited her to their office but she did not show up.

Hoang Vu Thanh, Vung Tau’s vice chairman, said the procedures for revoking Na’s house and land adhered to the law, and if she and her family chose to resist, the city would be forced to evict them by the end of this month.

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