BAC KAN (VNS)— "People here have only one wish: a smooth road," said Ban Van Bao, chairman of Vu Muon Commune.
The road in front of the People's Committee headquarters where he works bears numerous cracks, tens of centimeters in depth and covered with piles of mud. The asphalt surface has been peeled off the road by rain and overloaded lorries.
"Local residents do not dare to travel on this section on rainy days," Bao said.
The road, part of National Highway 1, was repaired in 2003 but has been damaged significantly since then. The cracked surface extends over 13km, running through the communes of Sy Binh, Vu Muon and Cao Son of Bach Thong District as well as hamlets in Ngan Son and Na Ry Districts.
Every week, commune officials join residents to carry out repairs, but despite their efforts, the road gets worse every time a truck passes over the fragmented surface.
Residents have contributed over VND21 million (US$1,000) to the communal road repair fund, while the commune and Dong Tam Cigarette JSC donated VND200 million ($9,500).
Local authorities and residents have made many proposals about what should be done. But none of them have been accepted, according to Bao.
Hoang Thi Mua from Sy Binh Commune said that students in her commune fall again and again in the rainy season due to the muddy road.
The degradation is not only inconvenient. It also isolates these communes and hamlets from surrounding areas, hindering their socio-economic development, said Hoang Kim Hong, People's Committee chairman of Cao Son Commune.
"Because it's so hard to travel, people are forced to sell their agricultural products at low prices and buy other necessities such as petrol, fertiliser, construction materials, fish sauce and salt from other regions at higher prices," he said. — VNS