The Ho Chi Minh City administration has given top priority to its ‘sidewalk clearing’ effort, not only in downtown areas but in other districts.
During a meeting focused on the local socio-economic situation on February 27, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said that order on the city’s footpaths and roadways must be re-established by March.
Phong mentioned the recent campaign led by Deputy Chairman Doan Ngoc Hai of the District 1 administration, praising the official for his firm measures and direct management of the process.
Since February 20, a team of police and urban management officers led by Hai has applied measures to penalize those ‘invading’ downtown sidewalks, with no one standing above the law, be it public servants or citizens.
Chairman Phong went on to remind the leaders of other districts in the southern hub to start dealing with the problem in their own neighborhoods.
Relevant authorities will carry out their own measures to remedy the situation, the leader promised.
The effort to reclaim public space on the city’s pavements will require both direct action from local authorities and cooperation from citizens.
According to Vo Van Hoan, chief of the municipal People’s Committee Office, the solutions used by authorities in District 1 are in line with the law and necessary as previous measures have proved ineffective.
The approach has received mixed feedback from local residents and officials, Hoan stated, before adding that District 1 has been following directions from the city’s leaders.
District 3 takes action
A group of police and urban management officers in District 3 was tasked with inspecting the situation along several major streets, namely Pham Ngoc Thach, Vo Van Tan, Hai Ba Trung, and some others, on February 27 morning.
The law enforcers dealt with several automobiles illegally parked on the sidewalk, of which some belonged to public servants and officials, and charged VND700,000 (US$31) for each violation.
Some food and drink vendors who placed their tables on the walkways were also fined VND2.5 million ($109) per case and had their furniture confiscated.
“We will make regular patrols on these streets to prevent repeated offenses," said Lieutenant Colonel Pham Minh Phuong, a police official in District 3. "The effort will be extended to other routes in the near future.”
In addition to the two downtown districts, authorities in Binh Tan and Phu Nhuan Districts also initiated a campaign on February 27 by dealing with the illegal occupancy of sidewalks on many streets.