Dien Bien Phu Aiming to Become Secondary City by 2015

9:53:11 AM | 13/12/2012

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Lai Chau township (now called Muong Lay) – the capital of the old Lai Chau province, was regularly threatened by natural disasters which held back socio-economic development. Thus, Lai Chau Party Committee and provincial authority made the crucial decision to move from Lai Chau township to Dien Bien Phu. Dien Bien Phu township was founded on April 18th 1992, including Thanh Minh commune and a partial town of Dien Bien district, on the area of 5056 ha with 17,000 people living in Muong Thanh and Him Lam wards, and Noong Bua and Thanh Minh communes.
In 2012, 20 years after its founding, GDP per capita has reached US $2,577/year (up 33 times since 1992); contribution to State Budget has come up to VND 150.3 billion (up by 650 times). The urban face has seen rapid changes with 123 km of asphalt road; 94 percent of access roads to alleys and villages concreted, 83 percent of sidewalks paved, the rate of permanent and half-permanent houses up to 70 percent; 65 telephones per 100 people; 98 percent of population using electricity and 97 percent of the urban population being able to access clean water. There have been many modern works built such as the provincial sport centre, Muong Thanh Hotel, connecting roads from National Highway 279 and Highway 12 to the city, and 3 provincial hotels. Suburban areas of Kenh Ta, Thanh Truong – Thanh Binh have been constructed comprehensively; especially Noong Bua urban area, given its large investment and primary completion, has received nearly 1000 relocated households from Son La Hydropower Plant project. The city currently has 33 schools, 45 percent of which meet national standards, and 7 out of 9 communes and wards meet national health care standards. Household poverty now is only 1.89 percent while social welfare has been always ensured.
There are 6 criteria for a secondary city, including: Urban functions (social-economic), Population, Inner Population Density, Non-agricultural labor percentage, Technical-social infrastructure, and Landscape architecture. The evaluation criteria are all related to each other; in which Technical-social infrastructure is the primary one, accounting for 55 out of 100 points
In the current context of development integration, meeting the expectation of the local people, Dien Bien Phu has been planned to become a secondary city in 2015 under the Decision 230/2006/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister and specified in Provincial Resolution by Party Committee term 2011-2015.
However, given the specific criteria, the issue is the city should build up technical infrastructure including: transport, electricity, clean water provision, water drainage, waste treatment system, trees and primary social infrastructure such as schools, hospital, recreational centres, restaurants-hotels, industrial manufacturing and commercial units, housing and office buildings, with scope large enough to serve 210,000 people at minimum (nearly doubling the current population scope).
In addition, the city economy should see annual production reach at least US$ 420 million (VND 8,820 billion) and annual contribution to the State Budget should be VND 420 billion at minimum (triple the current rate).The city economic structure should have a non-agricultural labour rate at or higher than 80 percent and annual income per capita of 1.4-2 times the national average.
So far, Dien Bien Phu has gained 52 points in the criteria for a secondary city, aiming at 77.9 out of 100 points by 2015 (the minimum grade of a secondary city is 70 points). There are many things for Dien Bien Phu to do to meet its target. However, given the foundation and achievements after 20 years of development and solidarity, local ethnic groups will join hands to make Dien Bien Phu a secondary city, one of the urban centres in the Northwest region – becoming a prosperous, historical and culturally charming city.
Thien Anh