Land donation for street expansion sees enjoyable results

The movement to donate land for street expansion in Ho Chi Minh City began in 2000. After more than 20 years, over 5.4 million square meters have been given to turn dirty, narrow alleys and roads into beautiful ones. The movement has become one proud achievement of the city regarding the motto ‘Cooperation between the State and Citizens for Development’.

Co Giang Street in Phu Nhuan District becomes wider thanks to land donation for street expansion. (Photo: SGGP)

Enjoying a cup of hot tea and reading the morning paper inside a spacious house, Vo Thanh Minh, a retired officer in Alley 127 of Co Giang Street in Phu Nhuan District, shared that he now lives comfortably on his pension and the rent from his three kiosks. That is the result of his land donation of 40 square meters (2x20m) to expand the current alley in 2009.

He explained that theoretically each side of the alley should give 1m of their land width for this expansion. Yet when realizing that the opposite house was already quite narrow, and that this action would leave the house unable to live in, he decided to give double so that the opposite did not need to donate anything.

Seeing Minh’s noble decision despite having to borrow money for house repair, other residents in 23 households in the alley willingly donated their land as well. The result is a street widening from 2m to 6m so that emergency vehicles can enter they alley more easily, while business activities of people there are bustling.

Sharing a similar story is Ngo Thi Ty from Tay Thanh Ward of Tan Phu District. She donated 400m2 to expand Che Lan Vien Street to the width of 30m. That leads to more convenient traffic flow and increasing urban beauty for the neighborhood.

Another case worth mentioning is the land donation of nearly 100 households living on Vo Thi Bang Street in Cu Chi District. The most prominent is Bui Van Deo, a Party member living there and acting as a neighborhood leader. When donating 1,000m2, he simply thought that being a Party member and a leader, he should be the first to fulfill the task. Now that the street is fully upgraded, with modern traffic facilities and a lighting system, he feels joyful that the living standard in the area has increased. He also donated 2,000m2 more for the expansion of Canh Dong Duoc Street and other necessary public facilities.

Co Giang Street in Phu Nhuan District becomes wider thanks to land donation for street expansion. (Photo: SGGP)

Or there are stories of residents living along small narrow dirty alleys in Phu Nhuan District. Many families have agreed to donate land to widen their alleys to 4.5-8m. This land resource donation was not easy to carry out at first, since people were not willing. 68-year-old Nguyen Thi Thanh, who lives on Alley 74 of Truong Quoc Dung Street, recalled that after one neighborhood meeting, she decided to be the first to donate. Following her was the opposite house, then came others along they alley.

The construction project began in 1994 and created a more modern, safer alley. 10 years later, people continued to donate land once more, and so the used-to-be alley now becomes a wide street.

Chairman of Phu Nhuan District People’s Committee Nguyen Dong Tung stated that the achievements of land donation mobilization come from the efforts of state officials, local Party members, and the willing cooperation of residents for the sake of community development.

Former Chairwoman of Ward 10 People’s Committee in Phu Nhuan District commented that Alley 74 is the first successful story of land donation for street expansion in the district. It was wholeheartedly supported by the local thanks to the transparency and democracy of the construction project.

Over the last 20 years, 168,139 households in HCMC have donated:

_Nearly 5.4 million square meters of land (at the estimated value of VND10 trillion ($435 million) for 5,230 public facilities construction projects

_The cash of VND458 billion ($19.9 million)

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