“The city’s decision to impose fees for the use of roads and sidewalks is reasonable, but will be difficult to implement if it cannot inspect and address all violations,” said Du Phuoc Tan, director from the Institute of Development Studies in Ho Chi Minh City. research division, said Wednesday.
Municipal authorities plan to rent sidewalks at least 1.5m wide in many places from September for parking and cultural and commercial activities.
Rates have not been announced, but the transport ministry said earlier that it wanted between 50,000 and 350,000 VND ($2 to $15) per square meter, depending on the area.
Businesses would benefit from a reduction of VND20,000 to VND100,000 per square meter.
It is expected to bring the city 1.520 billion dong ($66 million) a year, which would go to the national budget for road maintenance.
Tan said the main feature of the sidewalk economy is flexibility, which means many vendors can come to the same place and sell their wares at different times, from early morning until late at night.
Thus, civil servants working during office hours would not be able to manage the sidewalks around the clock, he pointed out.
Still, once sidewalk rents are collected, the city needs to make sure that every business that paid should have their rights protected and illegal encroachments should be fined, he said.
The city should therefore use part of the rental to hire private investors to keep invaders out, he suggested.
Nguyen Ngoc Bich, deputy head of District 4’s Urban Order Management Unit, said it was actually “very difficult” to file a report when dealing with sidewalk violations because violators have refused to provide their personal information and the unit could not force them to do so. .
Huynh Quoc Thang, a professor at HCMC’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said the city should take full advantage of technology to manage sidewalks, including the use of security cameras.
He said it was impossible to manage thousands of sites with only human resources.
HCMC has over 4,800 streets over five meters wide, but nearly 2,600 of them have no space for pedestrians because their sidewalks are illegally occupied.