The shape of a dynamic city

Vo Van Kiet Street in Ho Chi Minh City

Nhan Dan Online - As the last day of the 2013 Lunar Year draws near, Deputy Secretary Ba Dua of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee took my hands and said, "Sorry, I'm so busy. There are so many reviews at the end of the year. Let's start. Your questions match up well with what we have summarised here. Now, we will look back at the city's strengths and weaknesses during the last year". He sat down and without any documents in front of him, just a blank page on which Ba Dua drew two straight arrows, one going up and one down. The upwards arrow represents the rising trend of GDP, while the other symbolises the downward trend of CPI. Production is on the rise and prices are down, matching the request defined by Politburo Resolution No. 20- NQ/T.Ư on sustaining HCM City's high economic growth. "You see, the city's GDP growth rate was 1.65 times higher than the national average in 2011, 1.75 times higher in 2012, and 1.70 times higher in 2013. Meanwhile in 2011, CPI increased by 15.86%, … [Read more...]

Shape of a dynamic city

Vo Van Kiet Street in Ho Chi Minh City

Nhan Dan Online - As the last day of the 2013 Lunar Year draws near, Deputy Secretary Ba Dua of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee took my hands and said, "Sorry, I'm so busy. There are so many reviews at the end of the year. Let's start. Your questions match up well with what we have summarised here. Now, we will look back at the city's strengths and weaknesses during the last year". He sat down and without any documents in front of him, just a blank page on which Ba Dua drew two straight arrows, one going up and one down. The upwards arrow represents the rising trend of GDP, while the other symbolises the downward trend of CPI. Production is on the rise and prices are down, matching the request defined by Politburo Resolution No. 20- NQ/T.Ư on sustaining HCM City's high economic growth. "You see, the city's GDP growth rate was 1.65 times higher than the national average in 2011, 1.75 times higher in 2012, and 1.70 times higher in 2013. Meanwhile in 2011, CPI increased by 15.86%, … [Read more...]

Volunteer students aid city tourists

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The Volunteer Tourist Guide Team, recently launched by the Communist Youth Union of Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 and comprising of 78 sociable local youths armed with excellent foreign language command, is set on creating a hospitable, helpful image of local tourism among foreigners. The volunteers have been doing this job for three months now. Working in two shifts, from 8am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm on weekdays, they are readily available to provide tourism information and help prevent scams targeting tourists at three hot spots: the T-junction of Pham Ngu Lao - De Tham, the crossroads of De Tham - Bui Vien, and 262 De Tham. Helpful, friendly companions The volunteers have been giving information and assistance, and receiving beaming smiles and heartfelt thanks from foreign tourists in return. "The launch of the team aims to promote the city as a safe, hospitable tourism destination and attract more international tourists. It also provides the youths with a useful, practical, … [Read more...]

Highwaymen on the prowl in HCMC

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Municipal authorities, police scramble to tackle a spurt in robberies and thefts targeting tourists and residents Ho Chi Minh City police will step up patrols and coordinate with their district level counterparts in a fresh crackdown on robber gangs as reports indicate a significant increase in robberies over the last few months, targeting both locals and foreigners. … [Read more...]

Five parking lots penalized in City Center

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Tran Vinh Tuyen, chairman of the People's Committee of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday said that the inspectorate had uncovered and penalized five parking lots in District 1, for violating regulations on parking fees. The parking lots are located at Kumho Asian Plaza on Le Duan Street, on the pavement along Nguyen Du Street, at 125 Le Loi Street, 135 Nguyen Hue Street and 11B Nguyen Binh Khiem Street. … [Read more...]

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 7/8

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HCM City to build taxi barriers The People's Committee of HCM City's District 1 is seeking local approval to set up four taxi barriers in the city centre in Ben Thanh Ward. The barriers would stop taxis from unlawfully picking up passengers off the streets. Taxi barriers have worked well in many countries, said committee chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen. 250,000 disabled people to get jobs by 2015 The Government has approved a project to support people with disabilities in the 2012-2020 period. Accordingly, in the 2012-2015 period, around 250,000 working-age disabled people will be provided with vocational training and suitable jobs. 70 percent of disabled people will access medical services annually and 70 percent of children under 6 will have check-ups for early detection of congenital malformation and growth disorders. Around 60,000 disabled people and children will benefit from orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation and support facilities. The project aims to develop learning … [Read more...]

HCM City to build taxi barriers

HCM CITY ' The People's Committee of HCM City's District 1 is seeking local approval to set up four taxi barriers in the city centre in Ben Thanh Ward. The barriers would stop taxis from unlawfully picking up passengers off the streets. Taxi barriers have worked well in many countries, said committee chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen. ' VNS … [Read more...]

HCMC to open mini bus routes

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In response to the Traffic Safety Year and people's demand for public transportation, HCMC will open more routes in late March for 25-seat modern-equipped buses with air conditioners, televisions and bus stops in administrative offices, universities, commercial centres to serve staffs, students and local people. It is expected that there will be about 5-7 buses, with ticket price of VND 2,000. Chairman of District 1 People's Committee, Tran Vinh Tuyen said that the operation of these mini buses will limit use of private transportation and ease the current traffic jam. In District 1, all staffs will be encouraged to go by mini buses, at least once a week. He added that the service is working to make it possible for passengers to pay by card. Source: VnExpress Translated by Nguyen Thao … [Read more...]

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 4/3

Computer failure causes chaos in Hanoi airport Failure in computer system caused a great chaos at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport at 7.30am this morning. As all flights were delayed, numerous passengers could not proceed on board and were stuck in Terminal T1. At 9.10am, the computer system resumed and passengers started to jostle to check in, causing disorder in the airport. As no one queued up, some passengers were unable to get on board. At 9.25am, many passengers going to Da Nang, Cam Ranh, Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang, Seam Riep, Bangkok, Shanghai could not get on their planes although it was close or past departure time. Consequently, passengers boarding at 10 and 11am had to wait for those who had missed their flights to finish their priority check-ins. At 10am, the check-in area was cleared but there was a long line of passengers at security gate. Suspected bird flu patient recovers The third person to have caught bird flu in Viet Nam is recovering, … [Read more...]

HCMC considers small-bus system for downtown

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As part of their efforts to limit personal vehicle use, the Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department and the District 1 People's Committee have drawn up a plan to use small-sized buses for passenger transport in the city downtown. The plan has been submitted to the city People Committee for approval, said Tran Vinh Tuyen, chairman of the district People's Committee. If approved, the plan will be implemented later this month, Tuyen said. According to the plan, a fleet of 5 to 10 buses, about 25 seats each, will be used to transport passengers. The bus service will be run at a 5-7 minute interval between each trip. … [Read more...]

HCM City, Hanoi proceed with parking re-arrangement

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Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department said the overhauling of parking lots in the city needs to be done in phases, while concerned agencies in Hanoi have asked the municipal authority to issue a list of streets on which parking services can be operated to meet the parking needs of the locals. Motorbikes randomly park on the roadway of a street in Phu Nhuan District, HCMC. (Photo: Tuoi Tre) Hanoi to set up new parking lots On Wednesday, Feb 22, the Hanoi Transport Department and the Police Department sent the city People's Committee a request, asking it to issue a list of streets where new parking lots can be set up to replace those banned ones on 262 streets in the capital since February 15. The two agencies made the request after they had reviewed the effectiveness of the parking ban in a meeting held earlier with many districts' representatives, who said the ban helped create more spacious sidewalks but also caused troubles to both vehicle users and local residents. … [Read more...]

Hanoi, HCM City proceed with parking re-arrangement

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The re-arrangement of parking lots in Hanoi and HCM city needs to be done step by step, transport officials said. On February 23, the Hanoi Transport and Police Departments urged the city People's Committee a request to issue a list of streets where new parking lots can be set up to replace those on 262 streets which have been banned since February 15. The two agencies made the request after they had reviewed the effectiveness of the parking ban at a meeting held earlier with many districts' representatives, who said the ban helped create more space for pedestrians but also caused trouble to both vehicle users and local residents. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Pham Van Thoi, deputy head of the Hoan Kiem District Police, said the ban has affected both individual lives and business activities because the requirement for new parking lots is yet to be met. The agencies said parking lots should be allowed on major traffic routes, beltways and streets more than 7.5 meters in width, or … [Read more...]

HCMC, Hanoi proceed with parking re-arrangement

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Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department said the overhauling of parking lots in the city needs to be done in phases, while concerned agencies in Hanoi have asked the municipal authority to issue a list of streets on which parking services can be operated to meet the parking needs of the locals. Yesterday afternoon the Hanoi Transport Department and the Police Department sent the city People's Committee a request, asking it to issue a list of streets where new parking lots can be set up to replace those banned ones on 262 streets since February 15. The two agencies made the request after they had reviewed the effectiveness of the parking ban in a meeting held earlier with many districts' representatives, who said the ban helped create more spacious sidewalks but also caused troubles to both vehicle users and local residents. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Pham Van Thoi, deputy head of the Hoan Kiem District Police, said the ban affected both the life and business activities of the public … [Read more...]

City officials urge for strong action to curb rising street crime

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City officials claimed at a meeting on Monday that street crime including pick pocketing and robberies were seen to be on the rise, and seemingly occurring at all times and locations across Ho Chi Minh City. Many readers have told Sai Gon Giai Phong that with an increasing number of robberies on the city streets, many local people are now feeling very insecure (Photo: Minh Tri) Pham Thanh Kien, vice chairman of the People's Committee of District 1 said that 160 criminal incidents and 140 robberies had been reported in the district over the last eight months of the year. Some hotel owners had complained to the government after many of their foreign customers were made victims. Many robberies happened in high office buildings as the guards were lax or some may have even colluded with the robbers. Senior lieutenant Tran Van Ngoc from the city police said that the number of reported robberies had dropped year-on-year but he's aware that many victims also did not report their … [Read more...]

HCM City holds rents to protect poor from inflation

VietNamNet Bridge - District authorities in HCM City have taken many measures to ensure social welfare after the Government passed Resolution 11 last month to curb inflation and stabilise the economy. Thu Duc District authorities have got commitments from owners of 3,500 boarding houses not to raise rents until the end of this year, thus benefiting nearly 100,000 low-income workers. This model has also been followed by other districts. The Tan Phu District Fatherland Front Committee has instructed all 11 wards to encourage landlords not to hike rents this year, benefiting 15,000 workers. … [Read more...]

City holds rents to protect poor from inflation

HCM CITY — District authorities in HCM City have taken many measures to ensure social welfare after the Government passed Resolution 11 last month to curb inflation and stabilise the economy. Thu Duc District authorities have got commitments from owners of 3,500 boarding houses not to raise rents until the end of this year, thus benefiting nearly 100,000 low-income workers. This model has also been followed by other districts. The Tan Phu District Fatherland Front Committee has instructed all 11 wards to encourage landlords not to hike rents this year, benefiting 15,000 workers. It has also ordered local authorities to ensure workers and students living in boarding houses are not forced to pay extra for electricity. Phan Tan Luc, deputy chairman of the Tan Phu People's Committee, said 6,949 families had been provided free health insurance, including 3,507 poor ones. The Go Vap District People's Committee has ordered the district's 16 wards to set up at least one outlet in every … [Read more...]

HCM City campaign promotes healthy lifestyles

VietNamNet Bridge - The city's Civilised Urban Lifestyle campaign has over the last three years succeeded in improving civic sense and promoting a healthier lifestyle, participants said at a meeting on Sunday. Families blamed for rise in teen crime Vegetarian eatery promotes healthier spiritual lifestyle Youth volunteers take part in clearing a lamp post on Pham Ngoc Thach Street in HCM City in response to the city's Civilised Urban Lifestyle campaign. (Photo: VNS) Chairwoman of the HCM City People's Council Pham Phuong Thao said most citizens were now more aware of the need to protect the environment. Nguyen Minh Hoa of the HCM City University of Social Science and Humanity said it was not just major streets in urban areas but many roads in outlying districts that were also cleaner. He said the campaign had changed the attitude of many city dwellers. Two activities targeted by the campaign - the burning and throwing of votive papers, as well as the selling of food outside school … [Read more...]

City authorities discuss Chinese contraband goods threat

Chinese cakes and candy abound in Binh Tay Market, in HCMC's District 6. Smuggled Chinese products and fakes are posing a serious threat to domestic goods (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Ho Chi Minh City's market management authorities have discovered around 6,970 cases of smuggled goods in first five months of the year, 70 percent of them from China. Le Xuan Dai, deputy head of the Market Management Sub-department, reported at a meeting held on June 16 between the market departments and district people's committees that smuggled Chinese products account for 80 percent of chemicals sold in the city. The market management force alone discovered 1,580 cases of smuggled and fake goods and slapped a penalty of VND25 billion (US$1.5 million), double the amount it collected in the same period last year. Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the District 1 People's Committee, said most Chinese goods like clothes, toys, and milk sold in the city are either smuggled or fake. Deputy chairwoman of the city People's Committee, Nguyen Thi Hong, who presided over the meeting, said city agencies should draft plans to prevent smuggling and counterfeits and regularly report to … [Read more...]

State agencies unable to keep their staff

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Thousands of government employees in Ho Chi Minh City have defected to the private sector, with city officials blaming this brain drain on low salaries. A charity trip of the HCMC's Health Department to an orphanage in Cu Chi District. With 576 people quitting from July 2003 to December last year, the department was the worst hit of the public brain drain. … [Read more...]