Battleground in Cần Thơ City now a Green Belt

(SGI) - During a visit to the ancient battlefield on Vòng Cung Road in mid-March, Lieutenant General Nguyễn Việt Quân, former Political Commissar of Military Region 9 and Major General Lê Xã Hội, former Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Military Region 9, commented that it is difficult to visualize that the land they so fiercely fought on with bullets and bombs has now changed so much and so quickly.
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.

Productive land

After Reunification Day on 30 April 1975, the Long Tuyền area in Bình Thủy district in Cần Thơ City was evacuated with only a few outposts, ruined gardens and fields covered with artillery shells, toxic chemicals, landmines and bombs left there as reminders of violent battles fought. Unexploded pieces of explosives were once scattered everywhere along the narrow dirt roads, bridges and small monkey bridges. Yet after 47 years, although this place is a vivid reminder of the past ugly war, nowadays it produces 2,000 tons of rice, 5,000 tons of fruit, and 900 tons of aquatic products. Agriculture in Long Tuyền is of a very high-quality, using scientific and technical means to cultivate areas specializing in vegetable cultivation, orchards, and ornamental flowers. 

Mr. Phạm Tuấn Nhã, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People's Committee of Long Tuyền Ward, said that currently 100% households use safe water and electricity, with over 97% of households having permanent or semi-permanent houses. Commuting by boat and canoe is now a thing of the past, and nowadays 100% of all the routes are four meters wide and covered with concrete and tarmac, with public lighting. All school sites are solidly built and all the five schools there meet national standards. This is clear proof of change and improvement in people's lives. The number of poor and undernourished households is now down from 60% in 1986 to only 24 poor households, and 12 near-poor households. Long Tuyền today is a flourishing town and the population here has skyrocketed to 22,515 households by 2021. At the time of the Liberation there were only 8,000 residents in Long Tuyền commune.

Mr. Trần Quốc Vũ, Secretary of Party Committee of Bình Thủy District in Cần Thơ City, emphasized that along with the rise of the city, the coming public investment in the ward will not only be key traffic routes, such as the road connecting Cách Mạng Tháng 8 with Provincial Road 918, the Western corridor, and the embankment routes, but also many other large projects will be the highlight for the whole city. Bình Thủy District will have three urban projects with a total area of hundreds of hectares and an aircraft repair service area as well.

Ecological urban area

Phong Điền District, which occupies most of the Vòng Cung Road is the old Nhơn Ái village, one of the cradles of garden civilization. It is a locality with the largest fruit growing area in Cần Thơ with a total area of 8,565 ha and an output of over 99,000 tons per year, bringing revenue of thousands of billion dong. Phong Điền has created specialized farming areas, producing according to VietGAP model such as durian in Tân Thới commune, chrysophyllum cainito in Giai Xuân, Hà Châu strawberry in Nhơn Ái, longan in Nhơn Nghĩa, and seedless lemons in Trường Long. Phong Điền is aiming for an ecological urban area, and harmonious development between urban and rural areas with a green belt along the city.

Since 2013, Cần Thơ has planned the Vòng Cung Road to become a green belt, with high-tech urban agriculture and eco-tourism. The 30 km length of Vòng Cung Road is now a key tourist route, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total number of visitors to Cần Thơ. Besides dozens of busy homestay spots, there are also many famous tourist attractions for domestic and foreign tourists, such as Sáu Hoài tourist spot in Ninh Kiều district, Cái Răng floating market, Phan Văn Trị's grave, Mỹ Khánh tourist village, Trúc Lâm Phương Nam Zen Monastery, Vòng Cung Road historical relic site, Giáo Dương eco-tourism garden in Phong Điền district, Bình Thủy ancient house, and the Long Tuyền ancient village in Bình Thủy district.

Breakthrough areas

Vàm Xáng bridge, the key project of Cần Thơ city connecting Nhơn Nghĩa commune with Mỹ Khánh commune and Nguyễn Văn Cừ street to National Highway 61C in Phong Điền district, is expected to be inaugurated on the anniversary of 30 April. Lieutenant General Nguyễn Việt Quân said that he wishes that generations of relatives on both sides of the Vòng Cung Road live in future harmony. Every time there is a transition, such as re-establishing Cần Thơ province as in 1992, to becoming a city directly under the Central Government in 2004, and a urban grade I city in 2009, the changes occur on Vòng Cung Road again.

Not far from Vòng Cung Road is the Tây Đô bridge connecting Phong Điền town and Nhơn Ái commune over a length of 140 meters with four lanes, where workers are rushing under the hot sun to complete the project. Walking along Provincial Road 923, which is the new name of  Vòng Cung Road, is like being lost in a green forest, and  everywhere you can see changes. According to the new plan, the traditional urban areas of Bình Thủy and Ninh Kiều will be part of the central urban area of Cần Thơ City, an important focal point for regional and international transportation. In particular, of the eight key projects of the city, there will be two big projects creating new momentum and breakthroughs related to the Vòng Cung Road. The Ring Road project to the west of the city will connect National Highway 91 with National Highway 61C, passing through five districts, namely, Ô Môn, Bình Thủy, Ninh Kiều, Cái Răng and Phong Điền districts.

Mr. Lê Quang Mạnh, Secretary of the Party Committee of Cần Thơ City, emphasized that the Western Ring Road project with a very large capital investment of VND 4,000 bn, will be the most important project. The City will also  decide the new development spaces as well as tackle problem issues related to the growth and development of Cần Thơ City. The project of upgrading and renovating Provincial Road 923 covering 14.27 kms of grade III delta road is being planned. One of the great effects of the project is to repay a great part of the merit to the people of the Vòng Cung Road area in their heroic historical struggle period, and transforming the image to a traditional revolutionary rural area.