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The Hanoi People’s Council has approved a plan to expand the capital city’s total area to over thrice its current size by absorbing neighboring districts.

If the central government approves the plan, Hanoi’s population would nearly double.

Under the plan, the capitol city – currently 920 square kilometers in size – would merge with the entire Ha Tay Province, Vinh Phuc.

Province’s Me Linh District and four communes in Hoa Binh Province’s Luong Son District to encompass over 3,300 square kilometers.

The Hanoi People’s Committee will deliver the resolution to the central government and the National Assembly for a final decision.

Committee Chairman Nguyen The Thao said that Hanoi was not only a political, administrative and cultural hub, but also an important economic center.

The city therefore needed more room to build new urban areas, he said.

Thao also said that according the plan, the 526-hectare West Lake area would replace the 63-hectare Hoan Kiem Lake neighborhood the city’s downtown.

People’s Council representative Thich Bao Nghiem suggested that measures to preserve handicraft villages and cultural values be adhered to amid urbanization and expansion.

Under the plan, Hanoi’s population would jump from 3.4 million to an estimated six million people.

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