|Pedestrians walk along a section of a street in Hà Nội. The city plans to use natural stones to pave its 936 streets. — VNS Photo Đòan Tùng|
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội administration has announced it will pave 936 streets with natural stone in 12 districts across the city.
The move comes as the city’s pavement continues to show signs of degradation, hindering pedestrians to walk as well as worsening the image of the city, reported by Giao thông (Transport) online newspaper.
Lê Văn Dục, director of the city’s Transport Department, said the natural stone’s biggest asset is its reliability of 50-70 years.
After testing the material in several streets in Nguyễn Trãi and Lê Trọng Tấn, the department was impressed with the stone’s handsome aesthetic and determined to pave hundreds of streets with the stone, he said.
Twelve companies have been selected to provide the stone for the construction, he said, and the project is estimated at under VNĐ500,000 (US$22) per square metre.
By choosing only one material to pave all across the city, the city hopes to ensure consistency and avoid the current mix of stone materials around the streets.
A representative from the capital People’s Committee said the funds to implement the project will be withdrawn from the city budget and mobilised from the socialisation of investment capital.
The material’s reliability will hopefully end to the rounds of replacements and repairs required every few years, he added.
However, experts responded in a variety of ways to the city’s decision.
Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, deputy head of Hà Nội Urban Planning and Developing Association, advised the city to reconsider whether the natural stone will fit with all the streets.
Lê Văn Thịnh, former Construction Quality Managemer under the Ministry of Construction, questioned whether the construction’s quality was ensured at such a low price of below $22 per a square metre.
Thịnh said the construction’s quality often depended on two things, first, the builder, second, capital investment.
"If we spent little, it might be hard to get good quality," he said.
Disagreeing with Thịnh’s comment, Nguyễn Văn Hùng, former principal of Construction University, said paving with the natural stone should be constructed along some major streets instead of all 936 streets.
Paving each and every street with the natural stone will be costly, he said. — VNS