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Hà Nội playgrounds used by street food vendors, not kids

Update: September, 01/2016 - 11:09
Many playgrounds at Hà Nội apartment buildings have been encroached on by street vendors and local businesses, despite local authorities’ efforts. — Photo kinhtedothi.vn

HÀ NỘI — Many playgrounds at Hà Nội apartment buildings have been encroached on by street vendors and local businesses, despite local authorities’ efforts.

A 500-square-metre yard between E3 and E10 blocks of Phương Mai apartment building in Đống Đa District was built in 1980. In 2000, the district’s authority upgraded it into a recreation venue for local residents with games for children such as plastic see-saws, a merry-go-round and chairs for adults.

However, eight years later, the yard became filled with food street vendors, making it a temporary market. Stoves from street vendors discharged smoke all day, polluting the environment and annoying residents.

Vũ Đình Cầu, an E10 block resident, said that residents had reported the situation many times, and the local People’s Committee mobilised police to remove vendors from the yard.

But they quickly returned and kept encroaching on the yard when the police were gone, he said.

Cầu said the yard has been renovated with more games for children and exercise tools for adults. Doors will be built around the yard to prevent encroachment.

The same situation is the same in E3 block of Thành Công apartment building and B1 block of Giảng Võ building in Ba Đình District, and A5 block of Trung Tự building and C5 block of Kim Liên building in Đống Đa District.

The yards offered useful outdoor activities, but now have been used for other functions. Entertainment equipment has been broken or left abandoned, and even used for business’ purposes.  

Trần Thị Phương, resident in C5 block of Kim Liên apartment building, complained that she and her children could not sleep at noon as the food vendors’ customers were noisy.

Trần Thị Lê, head of the Kim Liên Ward’s residential area said that the children have not been able to enjoy the yard.

Residents were forced to spend money on a 20-centimetre fence around entertainment equipment so children can play and stay away from food vendors.

Nguyễn Quang Sơn, vice chairman of the ward’s People’s Committee said that due to staff shortages, the encroachments on the playground had not been solved.

He said the committee would propose to use a certain area of the yards in the ward for businesses. The rest would be for local residents’ entertainment. — VNS  

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