|Some tunnels have become dumping sites or homes for the homeless, causing big waste problems, environmental pollution and social disorder.— Photo thuonghieucongluan
HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi has spent large sums of money on building pedestrian tunnels under busy roads, but many of them are now abandoned or misused, Ministry of Transport inspectors have said.
Some tunnels have become dumping sites or homes for the homeless, causing big waste problems, environmental pollution and social disorder.
Figures from the Ministry of Transport show that 17 pedestrian tunnels have opened at traffic hot spots since 2001. And despite the misuse of many, the ministry is opening more.
Four are under construction along the Dien Bridge-Nhon route part of National highway.
In the same area, another four are used as illegal shops while people are still forced to cross the busy road.
A reporter from online newspaper Vietnamplus.vn said many pedestrian tunnels were misused.
One on Mai Dich-Phap Van route is locked to the public. Garbage and building materials have been dumped in front of the tunnel entrance.
Another tunnel in Khuat Duy Tien Road has become a public toilet and the floor is submerged with water.
Tran Van Truong, deputy chief inspector of the ministry said that of 17 tunnels, only three were regularly used.
Truong said many residents ignored the tunnels to jaywalk across the roads. This was because many had not been designed properly or were not in convenient positions.
Most of the tunnels were equipped with only one ventilator and lacked lights. Signs announcing their presence were also not very noticeable.
Some tunnels in operation were not cleaned regularly and the footwalks were broken, Truong added.
According to the Ha Noi Traffic Work JSC, which is in charge of managing tunnels in the city, the cost of each tunnel ranged between VND3-7 billion (US$141,500-330,000).
To solve the problem, ministry inspectors have sent a report to the ministry calling for the municipal transport department to complete the construction of four tunnels around Dien Bridge-Nhon Intersection.
The department will also be asked to examine the responsibilities of those who invested in or built the tunnels.
Signs with lamps may be installed in front of tunnels, the inspectors said. — VNS