Saigon unveils plans for eco park by 2025

By Sen    July 2, 2020 | 03:45 am PT
Saigon unveils plans for eco park by 2025
An aerial view of Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, HCMC, May 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Thu Thiem Eco Park will be created in Ho Chi Minh City before 2025, authorities responsible for setting it up said.

The Management Board of Investment and Construction of Thu Thiem New Urban Area, where it is set to come up, said most of the 128-hectare park’s area is a submerged ecoregion. A small part of it will be used to build sightseeing, tourism and research facilities.

It will mostly have mangroves and other local species of plants and be crisscrossed by existing creeks in the Saigon River. It is also home to several animal species.

According to the board, the conservation of existing animals and plants in the park is essential. But since the place is too large and has many access points, authorities are unable to prevent people coming here to hunt birds and fish.

French consultancy firm Architype is finalizing a detailed plan for the park.

The city will begin the construction after reviewing the plan and feasibility study.

The announcement about the park came in late June amid a scandal related to compensation for lands and relocation of local residents to build the Thu Thiem New Urban Area.

It began in 2018 with more than 100 families pointing out that their houses and lands were not in the original planning map for acquisition drawn up in 1996 and approved by the prime minister.

Government inspectors have since uncovered a number of violations by city authorities like wrongfully acquiring 4.3 hectares (10.6 acres) of land outside the urban area, handing over lands meant for building resettlement housing for evicted residents to 51 companies to do business and making advance payments for build-transfer projects in contravention of regulations.

Thu Thiem New Urban Area is envisaged as one of the biggest international financial and commercial centers in Southeast Asia. To develop the megaproject, HCMC spent 10 years relocating 15,000 households, paying out nearly VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion) in compensation.

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