An old apartment building in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Construction will conduct a comprehensive inspection on apartment buildings built before 1994 and urban public works with the duration of more than 60 years in cities across the country, a conference heard on February 22.

Those buildings which are dilapidated or damaged would be demolished, it said.

At the conference, Deputy Minister Le Quang Hung said that the move followed the Government's recent request, which required the ministry to review old apartment buildings in big cities nationwide to assure the safety of people living and working there.

To implement the task, the ministry has assigned the Institute of Science and Technology to build a set of criteria to verify the safety levels of residential buildings and public works in April.

The People's Committees of provinces and cities have been asked to cooperate with the ministry to carry out the task, he said.

Hung said the ministry will conduct preliminary assessment on 15,000 buildings and public works by December 31. In 2017, the ministry will verify buildings that needed to be demolished. Those which were still in good condition will be repaired for usage and receive regular checks annually.

Currently, in big cities, many apartment buildings and public works have been seriously damaged after a long time of use. They have shown signs of structural weakness, cracks and tilting, threatening people living and working there.

In the meantime, there is a shortage of legal documents on the management of these buildings and a shortage of funding for the maintenance and repair works. Thus, the management and inspection on the use of these buildings have remained weak, he said.

The collapse of a 110-year-old mansion in Hanoi that left two dead last September has alarmed the public about the safety and management of old houses.

The old French house, like many others in the city, had been changed significantly to meet the living and working requirement of residents. It had been seriously degraded with many cracks before it collapsed.

Figures from the ministry showed that in Hanoi, there are about 1,500 apartment buildings built before 1994 and 1,500 old French villas built before 1954.

In HCM City, the numbers are 1,000 and more than 2,000 respectively, and over 10,000 old State-owned houses. The total number of houses that need to be inspected is about 15,000.

In 2015, Hanoi conducted preliminary assessment of more than 1,250 out of 1,500 apartment buildings.

Early this month, the city required the city's Department of Construction to quickly relocate residents of two run-down apartment buildings in Thanh Cong and Ngoc Khanh streets.-VNA