Though there is much rhetoric flowing from authorities in Ho Chi Minh City encouraging and pledging support to investors for constructing traffic parking lots, there is not much by way of action.
View of Le Van Tam Park, where HCMC intends to build an underground parking (Photo: SGGP)
Over the last ten years, city authorities have twice issued regulations relating to construction of parking lots. Initially it issued a decision in 2006, calling on investors to build parking lots and later revised it in 2010 with added incentive of interest free assistance.
The Government also promulgated a decision in 2009 to exempt rent for public transport companies who would build parking areas and automobile repair stations.
Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the Department of Transport said that the city has only one parking lot as a consequence of these policies, but now the investor has little interest in running the parking space and wants to sell it to repay outstanding bank loans.
Nguyen Thi Dung, director of Thanh Hiep Phat Company said that she is now feeling quite harassed with the innumerable policies of the government. Her company was the first to respond to offers to develop parking lots. The project had been approved by authorities. However, since the parking lot was built, the company has not received any assistance regarding bank interest as promised.
Authorities have also failed to carry out their promise to ban all cars from parking along road sides or compel them to move to parking lots.
The Saigon Transport Mechanical Corporation (Samco) was the main enterprise in HCMC with strong financial backing. Nevertheless, when the city asked them to build the new Mien Dong and Mien Tay bus stations, they became concerned.
According to Le Van Pha, deputy general director of the company, the 14 hectare Mien Dong Bus station is planned on an adjacent area in Binh Duong Province while the 11 hectare Mien Tay bus station will be located in Binh Chanh District in Ho Chi Minh City.
The two projects are currently in progress and even though they have the support of many authorities’, yet the company is confronting many difficulties.
Pha says his company is not directly exempt from land rent and hence has submitted a petition for the same.
Samco is also feeling obstructed with another decision of the city People’s Committee. Accordingly, the city only supports high-rise or underground parking in city centers. The two bus stations are planned to be built in suburban areas. If they are not permitted to have underground or high-rise floors, the stations will not have enough functional space which includes a parking lot, a bus station and a metro bus station.
Dong Duong Company is used to pursuing projects to build underground parking lots in the city for the last five years but now is very concerned about the land rent.
Nguyen Thi Bao Quynh, the company deputy director said that its project to build a parking under Trong Dong Theater in District 1 is still awaiting exemption from land rental.
The company plans to build a small shopping mall to serve passengers within the premises, however, authorities’ say they will be taxed as applicable to other large shopping malls.
“We are tired of such complicated procedures and regulations,” spoke a harassed Quynh.