|People in Ha Noi's Nga Tu So pedestrian subway. All 23 pedestrian tunnels and subways in the city are now well run instead of being full of rubbish and water like a few years ago. — Photo vnexpress.net
HA NOI (VNS) — The capital city's 23 pedestrian tunnels or subways, once often filled with rubbish, described as unclean, unsanitary and even sleazy, have been upgraded and fully utilised.
Deputy director of the upgrade project, Nguyen Duc Giang, said the average commuter flow through each tunnel was 500 to 5,000 people a day.
The most used tunnel, near My Dinh parking place in Tu Liem district, is used by up to 5,000 pedestrians a day.
Nguyen Thu Huong, a student at the Finance College, said the tunnels were now clean and popular. She said that before they were built a few years ago, people had to cross roads packed with vehicles.
Early this year, work began on cleaning up the tunnels, which had mostly been abandoned. The work was managed by a body known as the Infrastructure Upgrade Project. It used expertise from the Ha Noi Transport Company and the Ha Noi Transport Infrastructure Construction.
Together they improved lighting, ventilation and water pumping systems, clean sludge and grime from the tunnels. Guards were appointed to look after disabled pedestrians and ensure security.
The management board collaborated with transport agencies, local authorities and security guards to keep vendors from encroaching. "We need to keep the tunnels clean as well as raise awareness of the locals. We cannot handle the vendors by ourselves, but need support from the authority," said Hoang Van Loi, a tunnel guard in Nga Tu So Street, Dong Da District.
The total cost of building the tunnels was nearly VND200 billion (US$8.9 million), said architect Tran Huy Anh, Ha Noi Architecture and Construction Company. — VNS