Friday, 31/12/2021 16:20

Food and beverage businesses approved for sidewalk trading in Hà Nội's downtown district

Businesses operating right on the sidewalks is a common sight in Hà Nội and all over Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — After much discussion, the municipal authority of Hà Nội has agreed to allow Hoàn Kiếm District to utilise sidewalks for food and beverage businesses, once COVID restrictions allow. 

As per a document signed by the vice-chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee, Dương Đức Tuấn, the fee for the temporary use of the pavement is VNĐ45,000 (US$ 1.97) per sq.m per month.

The committee permitted Sun Capital Real Estate Co., Ltd., Prodigi Pacific Việt Nam JSC and Toàn Cầu Global Invest JSC to temporarily hire sidewalks for fast food and drinks business in Hoàn Kiếm District – one of the downtown districts of Hà Nội.

The sidewalks used for service are clearly defined as areas close to the walls of houses and inside the facade of houses connected to the first floor spaces. Licensing will be every six months. 

The People’s Committee of Hoàn Kiếm had previously proposed to temporarily lease sidewalks of five streets, Hai Bà Trưng, Lý Thường Kiệt, Trần Hưng Đạo, Lê Phụng Hiểu and a section of Phùng Hưng, for food services between 6 pm and 2 am.

According to the district authority, many businesses in the district have been illegally encroaching on sidewalks in an unmanaged way, affecting urban beauty, traffic safety and the environment.

The district expected that their proposed pilot plan to allow business activities on the street would help control unlicensed, spontaneous trading, ensuring urban order, traffic safety and hygiene, as well promoting cultural values, attracting tourists, and promoting socio-economic development.

However, in early 2021, the Hà Nội Department of Transport rejected the proposal on the ground that it was not consistent with current regulations. 

The department said that the streets are the main traffic axis of the area and facilitate a large volume of vehicles, especially during peak hours.

Allowing businesses to trade on sidewalks would cause more congestion as vehicles stop in the street to buy food.

But a few months later, the city made the decision to decentralise management in some areas of socio-economic infrastructure development, as per Decision No. 14 dated September 6, which assigns districts to manage and maintain roads, alleys and sidewalks in the area.

In August, Hoàn Kiếm District again proposed a pilot project of using sidewalks for business activities, which was then approved. — VNS

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