Road upgrade dents goodwill as houses crack, sink

By Giang Chinh   July 13, 2020 | 02:26 pm GMT+7

Scores of miserable homeowners are combating structural subsidence on the heels of a road upgrade project in Vietnam’s northern port city of Hai Phong.

A section of National Highway 37 passing through Tien Lang and Vinh Bao Districts of Hai Phong reopened to traffic in February after renovation.

However, until today, over 270 families have yet to receive compensation after their homes suffered subsidence and structural cracks during work to elevate the road by one meter.

The house of Nguyen Thi Dinh in Tam Da Commune of Vinh Bao is among the worst affected.

Home to four people, the one-story abode stands on the brink of collapse.

Nguyen Thi Dinh show a crack running along a wall of her house in Tam Da Commune, Vinh Bao District of Hai Phong, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nga

Nguyen Thi Dinh show a crack running along a wall of her house in Tam Da Commune, Vinh Bao District of Hai Phong, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nga.

Local authorities, alongside Hai Phong’s management board for transport construction, the investor, helped Dinh's family rent alternative accommodation for the past six months, though all funding has since been cut.

With little choice, the family were forced to return to their unsafe former home.

"We only wish for those in charge to compensate us so we could fix our house," she lamented.

In the same neighborhood, the two-floor homes of Nguyen Thi Tram and Doan Thi Nhung suffer water leaks each time it rains because of cracking.

Tram said before work started on the road, several delegations had visited the area to study the possible impacts, but no one had returned to take responsibility for the affected households.

A subsided house on a renovated section of National Highway 37 in Hai Phong City, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

A subsided house skirts a renovated section of National Highway 37 in Hai Phong City, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh.

On Saturday, Do Tuan Anh, director of the Hai Phong’s management board of transport construction, which is managed by the city, confirmed high-capacity trucks carrying project materials had affected homes along both sides of the road.

According to the investor and project insurance firm, 271 households have been impacted.

Tuan explained that before starting work on the project, the management board had obtained an insurance package that stated if any trouble occurred during construction, including to local properties, the insurance firm would cover compensation.

"We are pushing the insurers on this matter," he said.

Le Minh Tuan, chairman of Tam Da Commune in Vinh Bao District, said the locality has requested the investor to soon compensate affected families and help to guarantee their safety ahead of the approaching storm season.

 
 
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