In-depth
Limited land creates traffic infrastructure logjam
  • | Phuong Thao | November 14, 2011 12:00 AM

>> Hanoi urged to curb traffic congestion

>> Industrial parks swallow up more farm land

Localities in Vietnam only devote 13% of their total land to transport infrastructure compared to an average 20- 25% in other countries, said Deputy Le Van Hoc from the central highlands province of Lam Dong at a National Assembly discussion on November 10.

Land for transport infrastructure works remains inadequate despite a rapid pace of urbanisation

Hoc cited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as typical examples. The capital has a total area of 83 square kilometres, but only 5.2 square kilometres of this or 6.18% of the total, is used for roads, while the rate is a mere 7.8% in Ho Chi Minh City with some districts only providing 0.2%.

At the discussion, Deputy Truong Van Vo from Dong Nai Province said planning for land devoted to transport infrastructure should receive more attention in the coming time as it was essential to solving the severe traffic jams bedevilling Vietnam’s major cities.

By contrast, large amounts of land have been allotted to building airports and seaports. Up to one third of localities in Vietnam have airports. Vietnam now has 23 airports and 160 ports, including 54 capable of receiving larger vessels.

Under the national land use plan, by 2020, land for transport infrastructure works will be raised to 757,000ha, a rise of 157,000 compared that of 2010.

Many deputies proposed prioritising land for urban transport development, clearly earmarking land for building highways and railways. They also said construction of seaports and airports should be halted.

Farming land sharply drops

According to Deputy Phung Duc Tien from Ha Nam Province, by 2020, an additional 308,000 ha land of agricultural land will be turned to non-agricultural purposes, leaving only around 3.8 million hectares for the nation’s total farming area.

Tien raised concerns about the sharp fall, saying that this would seriously affect national food security, particularly in the context of more complicated climate change and a rapidly growing global population.

He highlighted that cutting agricultural land should be based on real demand, to ensure land isn’t left going to waste.

According to Deputy Dinh Thi Phuong Lan from Quang Nai, when land is revoked but authorities lack support mechanisms for farmers, this was a major violation of their land ownership rights, creating unemployment and other difficulties.

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