Monday , January 30 2023

Mekong Delta capital has serious shortage of parking space


Of 168 parking plots Can Tho has planned only one is under construction, forcing drivers to struggle to find parking spaces for their vehicles.

Nguyen Van Thanh, 45, took his wife and children on a road trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho City late last month. After staying in Can Tho, they left for Con Dao, an island off Vietnam’s southern coast.

As suggested by a hotel staff member, he parked his five-seat car on Nguyen An Ninh Street in the downtown district of Ninh Kieu while the family was traveling to Con Dao. A man there received the car and charged him VND100,000 ($4.23) for two days he would be away.

When he returned from the island, he went to the place where had parked his car and found it left outdoor on the street for two days and covered in dust.

Tran Van Hung, 36, a resident in Ninh Kieu District, said his family bought a car three years ago. Living in an alley, Hung had to park his car at a nearby hotel at the price of VND700,000 per month. However, after a while the hotel needed the plot back to keep its customers’ cars and he had to find a new space.

Since then, he has been unable to find a parking area to keep the car and had no option left but to leave it parked on low-volume roads not far from his home, though he is fully aware of the risk.

Local people have repeatedly questioned the authorities about the lack of parking space, which has resulted in traffic chaos on major city streets.

Due to the lack of parking space, many residents have illegally used Can Tho’s downtown streets as a public parking lot, charging drivers a fee to keep their cars there. Drivers, having no other choice, must park their cars in such areas.

Official data indicates that Can Tho, with a population of more than 1.2 million, now has around one million vehicles, including 55,000 cars and 935,000 motorbikes.

A detailed plan to create a public parking area was approved by the city in 2017, which will give Can Tho 168 parking lots covering a total area of 29 hectares.

However, up until today, work has only begun on just one of the areas.

The city budget has allocated VND158 billion for a parking lot on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Ninh Kieu District that can accommodate 1,000 cars. Initially set for completion in 2020, the project is still under construction today.

Le Tien Dung, director of the Can Tho Transport Department, said the city has now decided to switch to private investors to build public parking lots.

“But investors are not interested in those projects,” he said, explaining that profits earned are not enough to cover the investment.

In order to attract private investment in such projects, Dung said the city should give investors more incentives, such as granting them land lease exemptions and offering tax cuts.

In case investors are still not interested, the city will consider the option of organizing private bidding to choose contractors.

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