|Workers resurface the pavement on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Ha Noi's Ba Dinh District. The city will spend more than US$85.7 million on repairing 600 street pavements over seven years. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Thanh Giang
HA NOI (VNS)— More than VND1.8 trillion (US$85.7 million) is expected to be invested in repairing and resurfacing the pavements in more than 600 streets in Ha Noi over the next seven years, according to the city's Transport Department.
Deputy director of the department, Nguyen Xuan Tan, said pavements had been rampantly dug up and destroyed by projects to put power lines and other cables underground and building construction.
He said that on top of this, motorbike parking, phone boxes, transformer stations and illegal advertising boards set up on pavements had further degraded the streets. This lowered the image of the city and continued to block pedestrians.
Tan said no relevant agencies took responsibility for managing pavements. Department statistics show that nearly 400 out of more than 600 pavements in the city are seriously run down.
Nguyen Ha Anh, a resident from Dong Da District, complained that it was hard to walk on street pavements because they were too uneven and narrow.
They were dirty on rainy days and covered with mud and sand left by construction sites.
Le Van Sang from Thanh Xuan District said he was once trapped in a hole on Chua Boc Street at a night.
He added that he was lucky to attract help from some people nearby.
Other pavements are taken up by cloth vendors and motorbikes, so there is little room for pedestrians.
Under the city's draft plan, five pavements in each district will be upgraded under a pilot scheme during 2013-14. A set of design models is expected to define paving materials, colours, shapes and sizes of pavements suitable for different locations.
These must also suit the movement of disabled people. Infrastructure works built on pavements will be removed if they are considered unnecessary. All street pavements will be then repaired.
According to the city's Department of Architecture and Planning, there should be a database listing the location of telephone boxes, electricity poles, power transformer stations and information boxes on pavements as well as underground cable and electricity lines. A representative from Hoan Kiem District's People's Committee said the lids of many big sewer holes on pavements had been stolen, creating extra dangers. —VNS