Ho Chi Minh City mulls over sidewalk rental plan after ‘clearing campaign’ ends

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 06/07/2017 16:17 GMT + 7

Residents of Ho Chi Minh City may be able to operate their businesses on local sidewalks for a fee, as part of a new proposal.

The municipal Department of Transport is gathering feedback from local experts and citizens on a proposal to rent the city’s sidewalks.

According to the agency, leasing local sidewalks for a fee will contribute to the city’s budget, which will then be used to upgrading streets and other traffic infrastructure.

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The deal will also encourage businesses to be more responsible whilst running their operations on footpaths.

According to some, the rental system is a better way to manage the occupancy of promenades and roadways, as well as ensure traffic safety and urban aesthetics.

An official from the finance office under the transport department, said that rental rates would be calculated based on the price of land in each neighborhood.

The approach has received positive feedback from leaders of local authorities, the official added.

According to Le Minh Triet, director of the Management Center of Sai Gon River Tunnel, his agency will produce a report on applying technology to collecting the rental amounts.

Upon collecting community opinions, the proposition will be submitted to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for approval, and is expected to be implemented later this year.

Transparency needed

Assistant Professor Nguyen Trong Hoa, former head of the Ho Chi Minh city Institute for Development Studies, expressed his support for the plan by saying that it would be an effective tool to manage the use of sidewalks.

However, the committee needs to be transparent throughout all phases of the scheme, Hoa said.

According to Dr. Vo Kim Cuong, former deputy chief architect of the southern metropolis, local businesses are already allowed to use a section of footpath to continue their operations.

Occupants also need to be charged a fee as sidewalks are public spaces and should not be freely used for personal purposes, Dr. Cuong said.

Traffic expert Pham Sanh recommended that the collection of rental fees not be undertaken by district or ward-level authorities in order to prevent corruption and other potential negative side-effects.

“The process should be carried out by the city’s financial sector with technical assistance from the Department of Transport,” Sang elaborated.

Meanwhile, local residents are still uncertain about the new proposal following recent efforts by authorities to reclaim sidewalks.

They are concerned that implementing the plan is no different than encouraging the occupancy of public space.

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This entry was posted in Du lịch - Tourism, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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