Relocate households from Hue’s ‘imperial’ slum with minimal disruption: PM

By Vo Thanh   October 28, 2018 | 05:34 pm PT
Relocate households from Hue’s ‘imperial’ slum with minimal disruption: PM
The ‘imperial’ life of Hue slum residents. Many houses like the ones in this picture are loosely and precariously constructed. Photo by VnEpxress/Vo Thanh
Provincial authorities should ensure slum residents at Hue Citadel are resettled nearby and can continue with their occupations, the PM says.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said that the protection of the citadel in central Vietnam is a task of all government levels and sectors, but it is first and foremost the responsibility of the local government.

"Thua Thien Hue has to set aside land with favorable conditions for people to resettle, so that they do not have to travel too far from the citadel and continue living with their former occupation," the PM said.

He noted this work should follow resettlement policies causing minimal disruption in the lives of the relocated residents and funds for the relocation project can be raised from multiple sources.

After media reports highlighted the squalid conditions in which about 15,000 people lived on the premises of the Hue Citadel, an important historical monument that has won UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage, the provincial government held a meeting last week to discuss the issue.

It was decided that they would facilitate the relocation of nearly 3,000 households from the ‘imperial’ Hue slum in what is known as Area 1 of the citadel.

Media reports earlier had noted that the 15,000 residents living on the citadel face severe weather conditions with scant protection, and live amidst squalor and pollution that they add to, not having recourse to normal amenities like toilets, bathrooms and stable roofs and walls.

At last week’s meeting, the province set up a project to clear the slum and relocate the residents.

Phase 1 of the project, between 2019 and 2021 and expected to cost approximately VND1,880 billion ($80.5 million), will relocate 2,938 households with about 11,000 members. The second phase, costing VND855 billion ($36.6 million), will be implemented from 2022-2025 to relocate the remaining residents.

The immigration process during the war (1945-1975), together with urbanization, as well as the increase in population put great pressure on the protected monument area. Area 1 of the citadel hosts about 4,201 households now.

Provincial leaders have acknowledged the problem of slums that have sprung up in the protected area despite investments made in conserving and restoring the relics in the province, especially those related to its royal past.

The province has called for the central government to support it with funding and submitted other proposals.

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