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Bridges shelter illegal businesses

Update: April, 09/2013 - 10:05
Most of the space under Ha Noi's major bridges has been illegally encroached upon and used for the wrong purposes. —Photo petrotimes.vn

HA NOI (VNS)— No one knows whether the parking lots and stores under Long Bien Bridge are operating legally, according to Luong Minh Duong, who lives in Tay Ho District.

But it is clear to Duong that no one has taken responsibility for managing the loud, polluting enterprises.

Most of the space under Ha Noi's major bridges has been illegally encroached upon and used for the wrong purposes, according to Nguyen Van Huyen, the Transport Ministry's chief inspector.

In a recent inspection prompted by complaints from citizens like Duong, the ministry and the city People's Committee examined the areas under Thang Long, Long Bien, Vinh Tuy, Chuong Duong and Thanh Tri bridges, where they found many illegal operations.

Underneath Thang Long Bridge, Ha Thai Railway Management Company has opened a parking lot next to temporary shops owned by houses nearby.

Fruit vendors sell their wares under Long Bien Bridge, while Vinh Tuy and Thanh Tri bridges house more parking lots.

The Transport Ministry's Circular 2009 states that trading and parking services and residential areas are not allowed in the areas underneath bridges and imposes fines of VND5-10 million (US$238-476) for violators.

These areas should be reserved for planting grass and trees, said Huyen.

He also suggested that relevant agencies take responsibility for ensuring traffic safety and order in the spaces underneath the bridges. — VNS



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