“I would like to apologize for late settlement of the people’s concerns on behalf of the authorities at all levels. I expect Duong Lam people to continue to promote the sense of responsibility as before,” said Secretary of Hanoi Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi.
On May 21, Party Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee – Mr. Pham Quang Nghi – paid a visit to the ancient village of Duong Lam (Son Tay town) to survey the situation and listen to people’s opinions. Along the village road, many people waited for the delegation, with petitions on their hands.
Ms. Giang Tu Oanh, whose house was suspended from construction, said in 2005 the villagers were delighted when Duong Lam was recognized a national monument but the joy was extinguished by the special regulations set for the ancient village. Because of the regulations, 90 children have to learn in a crowded room and people cannot expand or repair their houses.
“We do not have money to build house in ancient style. Our farmers can afford building normal houses. We want to meet the Party Secretary to express our problems,” Ms. Oanh said.
After the survey, Nghi worked with representatives of relevant agencies of Hanoi and officials of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the way to preserve the ancient village and solve problems for Duong Lam people.
Mr. Dang Vu Nhat Thang, Chairman Son Tay town, admitted that the local government unresolved the conflicts between conservation and development, some violations associated with construction order occurred, the potential value of the monument was not promoted. The vast majority of people still do not get the best benefit from the promotion of the values of the relics. There are no mechanisms and policies to encourage and support local people to repair houses and promote tourism and services.
Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism — Pham Quang Long, also said that the Department did is not do anything to promote the value of the ancient village of Duong Lam. Mong Phu Village – the strictly protected area with more than 1,600 persons – has an urgent need for housing but the government has not resolved the need. The people of Duong Lam’s concern is plausible and the local government needs to do appropriate adjustment.
Dr. Dang Van Bai, Vice president of the Vietnam Cultural Heritage, said that it should not be in the name of relic preservation that local people have to live in misery. The city should quickly approve the master plan and then the detailed planning for Duong Lam.
“I understand Duong Lam people’s concerns. The city should have a specific mechanism for Duong Lam. Vietnam has only one ancient village and the world has only five ancient villages,” said Ms. Dang Thi Bich Lien, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
According to Lien, this is a lesson for relic management. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will draw experience with the relevant departments.
At the end of the meeting, Party Secretary Pham Quang Nghi promised to have favorable policies for the people of Duong Lam. He also requested transparency of ticket revenues.