District 1-inspired ‘sidewalk reclamation’ effort begins in Saigon neighborhoods

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Báo Tuổi Trẻ English - 7 month(s) ago 7 readings

Authorities across multiple districts of Ho Chi Minh City have begun their endeavor to reclaim the sidewalks by creating awareness and fining serious offenders.

Authorities across multiple districts of Ho Chi Minh City have begun their endeavor to reclaim the sidewalks by creating awareness and fining serious offenders.

Following the ‘ sidewalk clearing ’ crusade initiated early last week by the deputy chairman of District 1 Doan Ngoc Hai, authorities in other districts are following suit.

While officers in some areas have issued fines for the illegal occupancy of sidewalks, others have announced a specific timeline for local residents to organize their business operations.

Direct measures are still being carried out in District 1 with several automobiles parked on sidewalks along several streets having been towed to local police stations.

In District 3, police and urban management officers have recorded a total of 25 cases of sidewalk encroachment on two major streets, Vo Thi Sau and Hai Ba Trung, on Tuesday alone.

Nguyen Thanh Phuong, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in Phu Nhuan District, has led a team of officers to deal with the violations on Phan Xich Long Street.

A resident of Phu Nhuan District removes his pot plants that were previously placed on the sidewalk. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Four shops on the road were fined a combined of VND49 million (US$2,146) for letting customers park their motorbikes on the footpath.

About 23 motorcyclists were slapped with VND150,000 ($6.57) fines for parking their vehicles in public space.

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, deputy chairman Phuong said that he had given local residents one week to rearrange their business activities.

As the one-week period ended on Tuesday, those who occupied the promenade against the law were sternly penalized, the official continued.

The action has received positive feedback and cooperation from citizens willing to help officers remove obstructions that had been erected on the sidewalk.

In Tan Phu District, authorities have issued a specific time frame for residents to comply with the new regulations.

Authorities confiscate objects occupying sidewalk space on Kha Van Can Street in Thu Duc District. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to Nguyen Quoc Thai, vice-chairman of the Tan Phu People’s Committee, in order for the effort to work, specific measures must be applied to prevent street vendors from selling on the sidewalk.

“The state should establish policies to assist street sellers,” Thai said, explaining that the ‘sidewalk clearing’ campaign would affect their only source of income.

Training programs should be offered to help vendors learn new skills and professions, the official suggested, adding that they could also be granted financial aid to help them continue their businesses in proper locations.

Reclaiming sidewalk space was the main task of authorities in Thu Duc District on Tuesday as officers carried out inspections along major streets, including Kha Van Can, Vo Van Ngan, and Pham Van Dong.

Local residents have been asked to sign commitment letters to keep their businesses from occupying promenades, with the promise of severe punishment should they fail to comply in the future.

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