Corruption still plagues urban management
  • By Bui Hoang Tam | dtinews.vn | March 22, 2016 03:02 PM

An unresolved case in which several households were forced to live in unsanitary conditions in Hanoi for years is now showing signs of being a product of corruption.


The case at 146 Quan Thanh Street is unresolved

At the review meeting on the last decade of anti-corruption campaigning in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said he recognised that dealing with corruption was particularly difficult in urban management, construction and banking.

The assessment is especially true if the case at 146 Quan Thanh Street is more closely looked at.

Twelve families currently live at the house which has only one sewage pipe that runs under the communal yard and three other homes before it merges with the city's sewage system. In July 2013, a resident of the residence, Nguyen Xuan Minh, decided to block the section of pipe which runs underneath his home. Sewage water quickly rose and submerged 300 square metres of the ground floor. In some places, the water was over one metre deep.

Bui Thanh Xuan, vice chairman of Quan Thanh Ward People's Committee, said that authorities had tried to work with Pham Xuan Minh but he refused to co-operate. Xuan added that Ba Dinh District People's Committee issued two requests for inspection of the residences in October, 2013 and May, 2014. Each time an inspection team has arrived, however, Minh caused problems.

The residents reported the situation to many agencies but nothing has been achieved. Years later, the authorities concluded that the pipe was full of concrete and dirty rags. According to the laws and common sense, whoever damages the pipe should repair it. But Ba Dinh People's Committee suddenly had this very unique idea to spend VND500m (USD24,000) from the district budget to build a new pipe that would go around the house.

After Vice Chairman of Hanoi Nguyen Quoc Hung gave the directive to "discuss and gather opinion from the people", the vice chairman of Ba Dinh People's Committee Nguyen Phong Cam flat out said it was not necessary. NA deputy Duong Truong Quoc had to claim that whoever said it was not necessary to gather public opinion was "not only foolish but stupid."

The case was not closed, however, as Hanoi inspectors discovered that there were wrongdoings in issuing the land-use certificate. The authorities had given permission for a four-story house but the completed construction exceeded that by three floors. The land-use certificate also covered land of the now blocked drainage pipe. The former chairman of Quan Thanh Ward People's Committee, the official who issue the land-use certificate and officials from the district construction inspectorate may face administrative punishments.

How can such situation happen? Maybe there are various reasons but corruption inside state agencies can not be excluded. The former chairman of Quan Thanh Ward as well as related officials must be held responsible.

Related officials who haven't retired yet should be dismissed, according to the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's comment, "Officials who can't do their work and are corrupt need to be replaced. If the consequences are serious then they should be removed from the system and strictly punished."

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