Many sidewalks across Ho Chi Minh City have been seriously damaged, causing inconvenience for pedestrians and affecting the urban aesthetics.
The situation is exacerbated during rainy season as the broken pavements can become slippery and muddy, causing people to easily trip and get themselves injured.
As observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters along the Nguyen Van Troi and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia avenues, which link the Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the southern hub’s centre, many pave paths were shattered.
These sidewalks have been constructed recently, some residents living along the streets said, adding that granites, which are considered to have long-lasting endurance, were used to pave the paths.
The expensive material was also used to renovate the footpaths along Tran Huy Lieu Street, of which many parts have been broken, causing a messy outlook along the road.
Similar situation can also be seen on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Dinh Tien Hoang Streets in District 1 as well as on several roads in Binh Thanh District, namely Dinh Bo Linh, Nguyen Xi, No Trang Long, and others.
Walkways in front of the Tuoi Tho Kindergarten on Hai Ba Trung Street, District1, and Le Quy Don High School on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, were severely damaged, with parents stating that their children often stumbled due to the bumpy surface of the sidewalks.
A part of sidewalk on Dien Bien Phu Street, District 3, is rebuild after telecom wires were buried underground. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Who is to blame?
According to an official from the municipal Department of Transport, hundreds of billions of dong have been funded by the city budget to upgrade sidewalks across the metropolis with high-quality materials. (VND100 billion = US$4.48 million)
Authorities in districts and wards levels have also encouraged local citizens to contribute to the project, financially, the official continued.
However, local leaders have been neglectful to fixing the damaged sidewalks and trying to dodge questions regarding the issue, he added.
The degradation of pavements should be blamed on the poor awareness of citizens, one ward leader asserted.
“Motorcyclists often ride their vehicles on the sidewalks during rush hours, causing the footpaths to be broken,” he elaborated.
The source added that repairing the damages was beyond the financial capacity of the People’s Committees at ward levels.
Meanwhile, many residents stated that units responsible for placing electric and telecom wires underground were to be held accountable.
Such units did not restore the sidewalks to their original states after fishing their projects, the citizens said.
According to Nguyen Vinh Ninh, director of the HCMC Urban Traffic Management Zone No. 1 under the municipal Department of Transport, leaders at district and wards are charged with preserving the walkways, preventing them from deteriorating.