City determined to tackle sidewalk encroachment
Van Nam and Tu Hoang
HCMC, HANOI – The government of HCMC has asked district authorities to impose harsher sanctions on sidewalk encroachment so that the problem can be thoroughly addressed this year.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the city, said at a meeting with leaders of 24 districts in the city on March 1 that all authorities and relevant agencies must adopt synchronous solutions to ensure a high possibility. At the meeting, Phong urged the heads of all districts to show a strong commitment to strictly deal with the issue this year.
Cracking down on the illegal use of sidewalks shows a strong resolve to improve the quality of life for city residents, Phong added.
In addition, the authority of District 1 should map out a plan to support street vendors and small shop owners as the district has been stepping up sidewalk management there in recent days, affecting the livelihood of many.
Chairman Phong hailed the effort of districts 1,2,4 ,7 and Tan Phu to restore order for the sidewalks over the past few days.
Besides, the city government will further raise awareness among officials in compliance with traffic regulations and sidewalk order, and call for urban dwellers to join hands with the local authorities in returning pavements to pedestrians, Phong added.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy head of the HCMC Department of Traffic Safety Committee, said the illegal occupancy of sidewalks has been increasing at an alarming rate lately.
Currently, a large number of streets in the city are still facing the illegal sidewalk use for trading purposes as a result of lax management in previous years.
Meanwhile, the central Government at a regular meeting in Hanoi on March 1 showed strong backing for the HCMC government’s efforts to crack down on the illegal use of sidewalks, said Mai Tien Dung, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office.
Speaking to reporters in Hanoi on March 1, Dung asked local media and the public give more support for the government of HCMC’s endeavor.
Dung said that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the effort and highly appreciated the city’s campaign as manifested by District 1 in taking tough sanctions against the illegal occupancy of sidewalks in recent days.
Doing away with sidewalk encroachment is a crucial step to restore pedestrian-only pavements, Lam said.
HCMC has taken drastic measures to cope with the issue since 2011 but to no avail due to the lax enforcement of regulations.
Therefore, Dung called for strong support of local people, especially the media for the city’s effort in restoring order for the sidewalks.