Lack of foresight by the authorities in their crackdown on businesses that were encroaching on pavements for commercial gain has seen local homeowners suffer.
Many households are struggling to access their own homes after the authorities insisted small ramps built to ease motorbikes being brought into their homes had to be demolished.
The public had given wide-spread approval to the campaign to clear the pavements until the authorities decided that this included removing the additional ramps that residents use to get their motorbikes inside the houses.
Tran Hung, a resident on Xa Dan Street said after ground clearance work, the road and the houses were built at the same time in 2005 and 2006. They were asked to build houses 0.45m higher than the pavement. But after all the constructions were completed, their houses are actually 0.6-0.8m higher so they had to build additional ramps and steps, with frequent inspections and directives from the authorities.
“We weren’t prepared or informed about this beforehand,” Thom, another resident said. “I’m getting old and can’t climb such high steps to get into my home. Most households now have to use cement bags or stack up bricks as steps.”
Hung said the pedestrians had no problems with such ramps or steps over the past decade.
Other residents insisted that the authorities had only notified and sent papers to shops on the streets, not private houses, to inform them that they had to remove obstacles. Other people weren’t aware of the move. Local people opposed the decision on March 15 and demanded the authorities to measure their steps accurately and only remove the steps that were defined as encroaching on the pavement.
Chairman of Dong Da District Nguyen Song Hao however claimed he was just following procedures despite not actually informing the residents in advance. Instead the chairman simply ‘instructed’ local people to buy or make removable ramps that can be put in homes when not in need.