HCM City authorities plan to turn part of Binh Hung Hoa, the city’s biggest cemetery, into a residential area and a park.
Binh Hung Hoa Cemetary
According to Nguyen Minh Nhut, vice chairman of Binh Tan District, said that Binh Hung Hoa cemetery has been planned to become one of seven local residential areas.
Binh Hung Hoa Cemetery, which covers a total area of 48ha, is now surrounded by houses and buildings due to rapid urbanisation.
In 2008, HCM City decided to relocate the cemetery into suburban districts due to the concerns over environmental pollution. However, failing to find an investor for the plan, the city has had to use its budget for the relocation. To date, thousands of graves have not yet been relocated.
Nhut added that around 26 hectares or 54% out of the cemetery’s total area will be used as a park, while the remaining area will be auctioned.
Among the 22 hectares of land to be auctioned, 12 hectares will be turned into a residential area and shopping centre. The money of VND2.5 trillion (USD113.7 million) expected to be raised by the auction will pay for the relocation of the graves. The land will cost about VND15 million per square metre.
Roughly 12,500 tombs have been moved to other places in the first phase, while 6,400 have still remained. The city plans to move ownerless graves out of the cemetery from October 31 this year.
Many local people supported the relocation, saying that the cemetery has become a spot for crimes for years.
Real estate experts said that it is reasonable to relocate a cemetery from the city centre. But it may need a long time to turn it into a residential area.