|A parking lot under the Nga Tu So flyover. Parking lots beneath flyovers will be removed to improve the city's appearance and prevent fire hazards. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Dong
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ha Noi People's Committee is planning to remove parking lots beneath flyovers to ease public concerns that they are an eyesore and fire hazard.
Nguyen Xuan Tan, deputy director of the city's Transport Department, said due to the lack of parking lots in the city, the department had temporarily allowed vehicles to be kept under the bridges since 2010.
He added that they were now looking to clear the sites completely in the near future.
The licences for parking operators at these sites are only valid for periods between three months and a maximum of one year, he said.
The temporary parking areas have been criticised by many as they are places where flammable and explosive substances such as gasoline and oil are concentrated.
They fear that potential fires will damage the bridges, prove dangerous to passing traffic and endanger the lives of residents in the area.
Organisations licensed to store parked vehicles were required to prepare fire fighting equipment and take full responsibility if a blaze was to start.
However, Viet Nam News reporters have observed several of these sites lacking in the necessary fire-fighting equipment.
Thousands of vehicles are still kept under flyovers including Pham Hung - Pham Van Dong in Cau Giay District and the intersection at Linh Dam Urban City.
Households near the bridges often offer parking services without permission, causing severe traffic disorder.
Under a decree enforced in 2010 by the Government, violations such as this can lead to a fine of up to VND10 million (US$480). However, this has had little effect.
Local authorities regularly check and deal with violations at parking points, with serious punishments handed out to violators, Tan said.
Since the beginning of the year, the department has already cleared some parking points, including at Chuong Duong Bridge, Nga Tu Vong Overpass and on vacant land at the Dao Tan – Buoi junction. — VNS