|A digger prepares to dismantle a floating platform on West Lake in the capital’s Tây Hồ District. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The floating platforms on West Lake that have not been shifted out despite orders will be dismantled, the Tây Hồ District People’s Committee said on Wednesday.
Five floating platforms are still present on the lake, between No 2 and No 10 Nguyễn Đình Thi Street in Thụy Khuê Ward, despite the capital city’s instructions that they be moved to the Bẩy Swamp in Nhật Tân District before February 20, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.
The dilapidated condition of these platforms makes them unsafe to move, so the district will collaborate with the city’s transport department and dismantle them on the spot, said vice chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Lê Hoàng.
The Potomac floating platform at No 10, made of three boathouses, was the only one among the five platforms operating when Tây Hồ District officials cut electricity and water supplies and blocked the area on February 20, the newspaper reported.
Local residents said the three-storey Taboo boathouse at No 2 has been out of business and afloat on the lake for several years. The adjacent two-storey Nàng Tiên Cá boathouse was abandoned a long time ago and is falling apart.
A representative of Potomac boathouse system said all business activities have been halted at the request of Tây Hồ District. However, he said, moving them out of the lake is beyond his organisation’s ability as their parent company, Potomac Joint Stock Company, has gone bankrupt. “Our venue rental contracts with the company are still valid, so we continued operating until the district requested us to stop,” he told the newspaper.
Owners of some of these floating boathouses claimed that their operating licences are valid for the next 30 to 50 years. However, inspections by the city’s transport department showed that all operating licences for water vehicles in Thụy Khuê District had expired in 2010. The documents that are valid for the next 30 to 50 years are vehicle rental contracts, not operating licences, Cao Văn Hiệp, deputy chief inspector of the department, told the newspaper.
All water vehicles operating on the lake stopped registering for safety inspections a long time ago, he said.
“Their operation licences have also expired, so it is legal to force them to cease operations and even confiscate the vehicles,” Hiệp said.
An order to close all service and entertainment businesses and remove all floating platforms on West Lake was issued by the Hà Nội People’s Committee at the beginning of February for a cleaning and renovating project for the lake. — VNS