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Saigon’s District 1 continues ‘sidewalk clearing’ campaign with firm measures

Tuesday, March 07, 2017, 15:32 GMT+7

Following a one-week break, Deputy Chairman Doan Ngoc Hai and his team have resumed their campaign to take back the sidewalks in District 1 from 'invaders.'

The ‘sidewalk reclamation’ drive began again in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, with a blow delivered to anyone and anything encroaching on the footpaths, including the building of the trade ministry.

Vice-Chairman of District 1 Doan Ngoc Hai and his team of officers have continued their effort to fight illegal occupancy of promenades in the neighborhood.

At the representative office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Hai order officers to break down a wall along with several trees and flower beds erected in the middle of a footpath.

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An excavator brings down a wall that blocked a sidewalk in front of the building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The wall, which had been built between the ministry office and a building next door, belonged to a state-owned company, Hai told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

“I have given them over 10 days to remove this sidewalk obstacle. As the wall has yet to be dismantled, our units will do it,” the official asserted.

Several cars were later found parked on the roadway near the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, with each owner fined VND700,000 (US$31).

An automobile whose owner did not show up to pay the penalty was towed to the local police station.

The team of officers also made reports on similar violations along Ton Duc Thang Street, and craned five large statues of the Royal Hotel Saigon that blocked the pavement on Nguyen Hue Street to the station.  

While leaders of some districts in Ho Chi Minh City are inclined to let local residents remove any obstructions themselves, Hai stands on his ground that such obstacles must be removed upon being spotted by the authorities.

According to the deputy chairman, he and his team are simply following the traffic law.

“This regulation allows us to promptly deal with objects and constructions that block sidewalks and roadways, compromising traffic safety,” Hai elaborated.

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A car is towed away after being parked on the roadway in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Hanoi joins the effort

According to the observation of Tuoi Tre reporters, several promenades in the Vietnamese capital have begun being cleared on Monday following the local authorities’ recent announcement.

Owners of businesses in Cau Giay District had their customers park their motorbikes on the correct section of the sidewalks and no violation was repeated after officers completed their patrols.

However, pavements in several other districts were still occupied by local business operations.

Officials said that they were focused on encouraging and reminding residents to follow the rules and re-organize their activities prior to March 10.

After that date, officers will impose stern punishment on those who commit an offense and shall carry out regular inspections to prevent repeat violations.

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