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HCM City firms shocked by sudden wharf closure

Update: January, 07/2015 - 08:37
The hydrofoil dock at Bach Dang Wharf, District 1, HCM City. The wharf will be closed on January 15. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan.

HCM CITY (VNS) — Ten transport and tourism companies operating out of Bach Dang wharf in HCM City's District 1 have expressed shock at a sudden announcement by the Transport Department that the wharf would be closed down on January 15.

"We are extremely anxious because we don't know where to dock our boats and how to deal with contracts signed with tourism companies," An Son Lam, director of Dong Duong Sailboat limited company, told Tin Tuc (News) newspaper.

"The announcement has come out of the blue.

"In the last 20 years we have invested a huge amount in river tourism. We have served millions of tourists every year and provided hundreds of jobs."

Bach Dang tourism park and wharf has nine floating restaurants and tourism boats along with 40 other vessels, including hydrofoils that carry passengers to Vung Tau.

Vina Express has spent billions of dong (VND1 billion = US$47,200) to upgrade its hydrofoils and only got an operation licence on December 23.

"We have not received official notification, but if the city plans to close the wharf, it should arrange another wharf for us to continue our business," Lam added.

Many enterprises said they heard about plans to improve Bach Dang tourism park and wharf but not when and how.

"Our floating restaurant and tourism boat is special … and we can't dock anywhere else. If the city needs to rebuild the tourism park and wharf, they must provide a schedule and support businesses," a spokesperson for one of them said.

At a recent meeting with relevant authorities the boat operators said they would go with the city's plan but asked for a new wharf near the city centre for them to continue doing business.

The department promised to convey their demands to the city's leaders. — VNS

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