Minister of Construction Tran Hong Ha (Photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Construction Tran Hong
Ha admitted that there remain many shortcomings in urban planning while
fielding questions raised by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the ongoing
13th session of the NA Standing Committee on August 16.

Opening the question and answer (Q&A)
meeting, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan underlined outstanding problems in
construction planning, urban architecture and urban land use issues, stressing
that they need to be addressed in a synchronous and effective manner.

Deputies said most urban areas face
environmental pollution, poor water drainage and waste treatment, not to
mention serious traffic jams, lack of relaxing space and violations of
construction planning. They urged the minister to present solutions to the
problems and questioned about the responsibilities of the ministry in guiding
and inspecting the construction work in localities.

Responding to deputies’ queries, Minister Ha acknowledged
low-quality urban planning and sluggish implementation of planning, attributing
that fact to state agencies’ poor performance and lack of information
transparency. Meanwhile, inspection and violation handling remain lax, resulting
in such consequences as traffic congestion and illegal land encroachment.

He admitted that his ministry is to be blamed
for urban infrastructure technical standards not matching the country’s
development conditions, complicated procedures for urban planning, and
irregular inspection that has led to slow detection of shortcomings.

The Ministry of Construction (MoC) will continue
advising the Government and the NA in fine-tuning relevant regulations, thus
improving the quality of and preventing wastefulness in planning.

He said the ministry will overhaul relevant
standards to eliminate unnecessary, overlapping and contradictory procedures.
Meanwhile, coordination with localities will be enhanced to monitor the
implementation of planning, thus preventing arbitrary adjustment of planning
and interest groups’ profiteering.

When asked about illegal construction and public
land encroachment, Ha agreed that the problem remains serious and noted it is
very difficult to promise to put an end to illegal construction. This problem
needs synchronous and close coordination among sectors and agencies from the
central and local levels.

The MoC will step up inspection and examination
in the time ahead, especially at some projects using large areas of land, the
official added.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh
Dung said the Government will overhaul regulations on urban planning and urban
development management, including the Law on Construction. It will also speed
up the formation of satellite urban areas surrounding big cities like Hanoi and
Ho Chi Minh City so as to ease pressure on big cities.

Concluding the question and answer session, NA
Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien asked the Government members to promptly realise
their promises and report the outcomes to the parliament at upcoming