A walkway, paved with a rare, expensive type of ironwood, has been planned for installation by the iconic Huong (Perfume) River in the central tourist city of Hue, sparking concerns over the choice of surface material.
The walking passage will be built as part of a project by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Nguyen Viet Bang, the project’s deputy director of the management board, said on Friday.
The VND52.9 billion (US$2.3 million) walkway will have steel and concrete foundation with its 2,440-square-meter surface, measuring five centimeters thick, paved with South African tali wood, commonly known in Vietnamese as lim.
Paving alone costs VND5.14 billion (US$225,000), which will be funded by non-refundable aid by South Korean government, according to Bang.
Many locals have opposed the idea of using ironwood as the area is often flooded during the rainy season.
Bang defended that tali wood is one of the four most durable wood types in Vietnam, besides padauk, lauan, and apitong,
This particular type of wood is known to be hard and can withstand the hot and humid weather of Vietnam well, the director further explained, citing a study by the KOICA project.
Binh also said that ironwood was chosen for the project as its durability will bring lasting beauty and traditional features to the ancient Hue.
The large quantity amount of tali wood used in the project has also raised concerns for many locals and conservationists in Vietnam.
However, the deputy director insisted that the wood to be used will be imported from South Africa, therefore not affecting forests in Vietnam.