26/02/2010 | 09:04:46

Lines drawn for new Hanoi

The drawing of the new border lines of Hanoi on August 1 marked a new milestone in the historic expansion of Vietnam’s capital.

The expansion, approved by the National Assembly in late May, makes Hanoi the 17th largest capital in the world with a total area of more than 3,300 sq.km.

Today’s expanded Hanoi takes in 6.2 million people, double the previous population. Ha Tay no longer exists as a separate province, with 2.5 million people.

The new capital also sees in its fold Vinh Phuc province’s Me Linh district and four communes of Hoa Binh province’s Luong Son district.

The expanded Hanoi administrative system officially began operations yesterday with a meeting that united the People’s Councils of former Hanoi, Ha Tay Province and other relevant localities.

"In its long-standing history, Vietnam’s capital of Thang Long - Dong Do - Hanoi has witnessed many changes in its administrative border. This perhaps is the biggest adjustment so far and has sprung from the country’s demands for development," said National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong at the meeting.
"The expansion is of great significance, not only for Hanoi itself but for the development of the whole nation, especially as the 1,000-year anniversary of the capital’s birth approaches."

Trong said the expansion would open a host of development opportunities for the new capital but also used the occasion to warn of the challenges in implementing the initiatives, saying it would not be a simple task.

As new Hanoi completes its border expansion, it has to quickly settle down and effectively operate the new administrative system, implement resolutions of the Party, the National Assembly and the Government on socio-economic development; it has to curb inflation, stabilise macro economy, deal with social security-related problems and ensure the city’s sustainable development in the years to come, according to Trong.

"Advantages and opportunities always accompany conditions and challenges. The bigger the advantages and opportunities, the more determination and efforts they require from humans," said the municipal Party Secretary Pham Quang Nghi in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency.

According to Nghi, King Ly Thai To’s strong will and determination in moving the capital from Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh Province to Thang Long nearly a thousand years ago should provide lessons for Hanoians today.

The NA Chairman said he believed that the newly expanded Ha Noi would overcome all challenges in meeting its goals.

Nghi asked capital authorities to continue accelerating administrative reforms, better urban management, step up the fight against corruption, practice saving, solve urgent social problems including traffic safety, food safety and hygiene, disease prevention and control, and ensure preparations are on course for the 1,000-year anniversary of Thang Long - Hanoi.

In the first new municipal People’s Council meeting, Nguyen The Thao, who became Hanoi People’s Committee chairman last August, was elected as the new chairman of the expanded capital, bagging more than 93 per cent of votes.

The meeting chose eight new deputy chairmen of the new People’s Committee - former deputy chairmen of Ha Noi and Ha Tay Province: Phi Thanh Binh, Vu Hong Khanh, Nguyen Huy Tuong, Dao Van Binh, Hoang Manh Hien, Ngo Thi Thanh Hang, Nguyen Van Khoi and Trinh Duy Hung.

Of all 162 representatives at the meeting, 158 voted former Ha Noi People’s Council chairwoman Ngo Thi Doan Thanh as the new chairperson of the expanded city’s council.

Le Quang Nhue and Nguyen Van Phuc, former Ha Noi and the Ha Tay People’s Council deputy chairmen, also kept their position in the new council./.

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