Land use right holders on 450 Year Road still reject compensation
Owners of land use rights for the remaining 167 plots along the 450 Year Road in Vientiane are still refusing to accept the compensation offered in return for the land they lost to the US$104 million highway, an official told the Vientiane People's Council yesterday.
The government approved the construction of the 20.3km road, which was completed in 2010, to mark the 450th anniversary of Vientiane as the capital of Laos. The road links the Dongdok traffic lights in Xaythany district to Dongphosy village in Hadxaifong district.
To finance the road, a 50-metre section of land along either side of the route measuring more than 1 million square metres was reserved for sale to raise the necessary funds.
Compensation has been offered to those who lost their land, a member of the committee in charge of resolving land issues, Mr Bounlap Soutthavong, told the Assembly during its ongoing meeting.
He added that the committee has already awarded compensation of more than 77.4 billion kip for 369 plots of land.
However, the owners of the land use rights to the remaining 167 plots have still not claimed the money owed them, even though the authorities have issued several notices telling them to do so. The deadline for the payment of compensation has now passed.
Given that the remaining owners have not cooperated, Mr Bounlap recommended that the land use rights for the 167 plots be revoked and new land titles issued so the land use rights could be sold to raise money.
He said most of the people involved were not the original owners as they had bought the land from the original owners with the intention of reselling it and making a profit. Since the purchases took place after a regulation was issued to prohibit the sale of land and any construction after the building of the 450 Year Road was announced, this meant the parties had violated the regulation.
However, Mr Bounlap recommended that compensation be paid for the remaining plots, even though the deadline had passed.
In addition, he suggested charging a transport fee on the 450 Year Road in line with the Prime Ministerial Decision No. 66 issued in 2008.
Compensation payouts ranged from 15,000 kip to 500,000 kip per square metre plus 30 percent of the land value. The original owners of the land use rights were given priority in the repurchase of the land use rights, but would have to pay the amount decided by the government.
This amount was calculated by the government after the 450 Year Road was built, with prices ranging from US$120 to US$150 per square metre.
New title deeds have been issued for land for which compensation was paid and these were given to the Bank of the Lao PDR in part payment of the loan and interest owed by the developer which had borrowed money to build the road.
The project developer still owes the central bank more than US$20 million including interest.
Vientiane Mayor Dr SinlavongKhoutphaythoune told the Council that the building of the 450 Year Road was significant for Vientiane's socio-economic development and in easing traffic congestion.
By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update January 11, 2017)