The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has sent an urgent message to 24 districts to shut down most parking lots using pavements by the end of March.
The committee said the city had a policy to re-check the operation of parking lots on pavements so that pedestrians received priority.
It said if street pavements continued to be used for different purposes, operators would have to seek approval from authorities and the operation will be under tight supervision to protect the image of the city.
Paid parking spaces will be managed by the youth volunteers and the price will need to follow current regulations.
However, for those businesses that need the parking spaces on the pavements for the vehicles of their customers or employees, etc. free-of-charge, the district people’s committee can consider whether to allow this activity by issuing a permit (valid for a certain period).
The People’s Committee of District 1 was told to inspect the licensing of parking lots in the area after local media reported that there were 48 parking lots on pavements located in “ideal locations,” i.e. places that draw in a lot of people, according to wards’ authorities in the district.
Several parking lots are said to be still running although their business licences have expired.
In response to the situation, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the district Doan Ngoc Hai decided on January 11 to temporarily suspend 48 parking lots from operation.
Hai said the committee would carefully consider each parking lot in order to decide to end its operation or not.
In the meantime, many parking lots still operate illegally in Hanoi, for example, in downtown districts of Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh.
Despite many complaints, drivers usually have to shell out double or triple regulated fee, which is as low as 5,000 VND (22 US cents) for a motorbike and about 15,000 VND (66 US cents) an hour for cars.
Director of the city’s transport department, Vu Van Vien, told Lao Dong (Labour) online newspaper the department was working with relevant agencies to remedy the situation.
“The more illegal parking lots that operate, the more tax the State loses out on,” he added.-VNA