Monday, July 13 2020

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HCM City puts street vendors under better management, protects pedestrians

Update: June, 25/2020 - 08:45
A parking lot in Lê Thị Riêng Park in Ward 15 of HCM City’s District 11. — Photo nld.com.vn

HCM CITY — Street vendors will be allowed to use sections of roads and pavements if they receive permission and pay fees for their business activities under a HCM City draft decision on road and pavement management.

Ngô Hải Đường, head of the Land Infrastructure Management Division under the city Department of Transport, said the decision aims to better ensure safety for pedestrians, especially at intersections and on sections of roads with construction works.

The decision also urges the use of advanced technology in management and operation of roads and pavements, and the lease of some sections of these roads and pavements. Fees for using such infrastructure facilities should also be imposed.

However, at least a 1.5 metre section of pavement must be used for pedestrians, said Đường at a conference held by the Việt Nam Fatherland Front's HCM City chapter last week.

Hà Ngọc Trường, an expert from the HCM City Centre for Road, Bridge, Port Technology Consultancy, said local authorities at the ward and commune level must be responsible for the implementation of the new decision.

Trịnh Văn Chính from the HCM City University of Transport said street vendors should be granted permission via certificates that define the time and the areas for their business activities.

Chính said such certificates could help give street vendors peace of mind and encourage them to be more responsible for their activities.

Most violations are caused by unlicensed street vendors. Many of them have paid fees 'under the table' for their business activities on streets and pavements, said Chính.

To better control street and pavement business activities, agencies must focus on management and impose severe punishment on violators, Chính added.

Illegal activities 

Lawyer Nguyễn Văn Hậu, deputy chief of the HCM City Lawyers Association, said that granting permission to street vendors for temporary use of roads and pavements could lead to uncontrolled licensing of certificates for organisations and individuals.

City authorities must charge fees for temporary use of roads and pavements and identify the agencies responsible for pavement management and for road and pavement usage fees, he said.

In many cases, violators are unlicensed street vendors who usually pay illegal fees "under the table" for good positions on streets and pavements, turning these places into street shops and motorbike parking lots.

Officials who violate regulations on granting licenses to vendors for street and parking lots must be punished, Hậu said.

Expert Trần Kiên from Hà Nội National University said local agencies must take urgent and strong measures to combat illegal activities of so-called bouncers, who protect the vendors and take illegal fees, a practice which has been reported for decades.

To prevent or reduce bouncers’ activities, road and pavement management must be made public and open, and street and pavement managers must be frequently rotated, said Kiên.

Trần Quang Lâm, director of the HCM City Department of Transport, said the draft decision on temporary use and management of sections of road and pavement management in HCM City aims to better serve pedestrians. — VNS

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