City seeks to speed parking lot construction

Update: September, 18/2014 - 09:00
The study has begun on an underground parking lot at the corner of Le Loi and Ham Nghi streets in District 1. — Photo Vnexpress

HCM CITY (VNS) — Parking-lot projects have been stalled for years in HCM City due to cumbersome administrative procedures and a lack of city regulations for underground fire prevention.

Although study has begun on an underground parking lot at the corner of Le Loi and Ham Nghi streets in District 1, four other underground parking lot projects have yet to begin.

The HCM City People's Committee has asked local city departments to conduct a study into the delays and come up with a solution.

In 2005, for example, an underground parking lot below Le Van Tam Park in District 3 was approved by the Government, and five years later, the project kicked off but was never completed due to numerous design adjustments.

The city had no regulations for underground fire prevention and fire fighting and that was the main reason for the adjustments, the project's investor, Le Tuan, director of the Underground Space Investment Development Corporation (IUS), was quoted as saying in the Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Sai Gon Marketing) newspaper.

Access to State offices was another issue, he added.

The IUS spent a year and a half and met 25 times with different departments to discuss why they were being asked to pay land-use fees, because Government Decree No 108 exempted them from such payments.

Another underground parking project, near the Trong Dong Stage in District 1, was delayed because of administrative problems.

"Investment procedures related to underground parking don't exist in Viet Nam. Therefore, the time to get approval from State offices is very long," said Nguyen Thi Bao Quynh, deputy general director of Indochina Group, the project's investor.

Demand for parking is especially critical on Nguyen Hue and Le Loi streets in District 1, where the metro line No 1 Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien is now being built.

"Our project is approved for fire prevention and fire fighting. We are completing final procedures and I hope we can start construction in February 2015," Le Tuan said.

"We are trying to work with Park and Green Tree Company about compensation for land and trees in our project, but we will try to start it in early 2015," Quynh added.

Although city districts have suggested building 18 parking lots, only two above-ground parking lots in districts 1 and Tan Phu have opened to serve local residents.

One of them is the 10-floor storey parking lot on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 1, which opened in mid-May with a capacity of 1,000 cars and 500-800 motorbikes. — VNS