The authorities of Van Giang district in the northern province of Hung Yen on April 24, used force to withdraw 5.8 hectares of land of 166 families in Xuan Quan commune.
This is part of the 72ha of land that is being given to the investor of the Ecopark estate project.
According to the People’s Committee of Hung Yen province, 90 percent of families whose land was revoked to give to the Ecopark project this time “had received compensation and handed over their land” to the authorities.
There were 166 families that did not agree to return the land, after several unsuccessful negotiations, reasoning that the compensation is unsatisfactory. The provincial authorities, therefore, approved Van Giang district’s plan of withdrawing land by force.
At a press conference in the afternoon of April 24, Mr. Bui Huy Thanh, Chief of the Hung Yen People’s Committee’s Office, said that the land withdrawal plan took place from 7am to 10.30am of the same day, with the participation of around 1,000 police, militia and specialized vehicles.
Thanh confirmed that the plan was implemented under the witness of representatives of the People’s Procuracy and there was no participation of the army, with no fire. However, the official said that police officers had to use two smoke grenades to break up a crowd who hindered vehicles from getting into the construction site.
At a press conference one day ago, Mr. Thanh said that by January 2012, of nearly 4,900 families whose 500ha are revoked for the Ecopark project, nearly 79 percent received compensation. The first phase of this project has been implemented on nearly 58ha in Xuan Quan commune. After the land withdrawal on April 24, another 72ha will be given to the investor.
The official confirmed that the local government has seriously observed the law in land withdrawal. By 2008, most of households obeyed the land withdraw policy and received compensation of VND135,000 (around $7 at present), the highest level in Hung Yen at that time. However, site clearance has not finished because of “a small group of protesters.”
Over 20 people were held in custody for resisting law enforcement officers on duty. Mr. Thanh told VNexpress online newspaper that these people were arrested in order to investigate who were behind to incite local residents to resist law enforcement officers. By this morning, April 25, they were not released yet.
On the afternoon of April 24, Mr. Vo Tuan Phong, a resident of Xuan Quan commune, told VNexpress that he hired this plot of land in 2003, which “is used stably and brought about high profit.”
Another local man, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Binh, told VNexpress that the land yielded a million dong of profit annually, so local people “were not satisfied” with the investor’s compensation of VND36 million per one sao (360sq.m) or VND100,000 ($5)/sq.m.
The Ecopark was approved by the government in 2004, invested by the Viet Hung Urban Development and Investment Company.
The project covers approximately 500ha of land in the three communes of Xuan Quan, Phung Cong and Cuu Cao in Hung Yen province.
This is the largest ecological residential project in northern Vietnam, with investment capital of up to $6 billion.