Back Stories » Vietnam » After 4 Months, Doan Ngoc Hai's Sidewalk-Clearing Crusade Returns

After 4 Months, Doan Ngoc Hai's Sidewalk-Clearing Crusade Returns

After a four-month break, Doan Ngoc Hai, the leader of District 1’s sidewalk-clearing crusade, is finally back on the streets, towing illegally parked vehicles and confiscating property from local nhậu restaurants.

According to VnExpress, on Monday, August 7, Vice Chairman Hai of the District 1 People’s Committee hit the streets of downtown Saigon with a team of public order officials to restart his campaign against sidewalk encroachment.

“The wards didn't take the task seriously and allowed the sidewalks to be retaken, so I have returned to deal with it,” Hai told the news source.

His Monday visit to local streets came just days after a meeting with municipal authorities on Friday, August 4, when Hai sought complete carte blanche to carry on with the campaign. The order would grant him the power to punish any party – from street vendor owners to public officials – that stands in his way.

However, it’s unclear at this point if the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee actually fulfilled his request for full authorization.

On Monday, starting from the headquarter of the District 1 People’s Committee, Hai’s team hit the pavement on Le Duan, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Hai Ba Trung Streets, where the officials gave tickets to scores of private cars and taxis that were parked illegally.

Hai's team confiscating tables and chairs at a nhậu spot on Hoang Sa Street. Photos via Thanh Nien.

“I encourage traditional taxi cabs to operate, but only if they obey traffic laws. They can’t just park anywhere they desire willy-nilly,” he told Thanh Nien in Vietnamese. “I work in an organization with a proper hierarchy and thus will continue improving city pavements until my superiors order me to stop.”

Hai and the officials also descended abruptly on a nhậu spot on Hoang Sa Street along the Nhieu Loc Canal. The ambush led to a scene of pandemonium when both the wait staff and patrons rushed to remove table sets and motorbikes on the premises. Family members of the owner even fought with public order officials after some restaurant assets were confiscated.

Photos via Tuoi Tre.

Apart from vehicles, the team also revoked the licenses of two parking lots along Thi Sach and Nguyen Sieu Streets, reports Tuoi Tre.

Most residents and netizens have reacted warmly to Vice Chairman Hai’s return. However, owners of street establishments that were penalized by the team are less impressed.

“The current law allows us to set up tables and chairs within the inner 1.5 meters of the pavement, so how can [the inspection team] confiscate my stuff like that?” the owner of a smoothie joint at Phu Dong Roundabout told Zing. “Even then, we need to be informed of the inspection beforehand.”

On Hai’s part, these complaints and negative feedback don’t seem to affect his determination.

“I tried to delegate parts of the work to ward officials, but they don’t do a good job. So I’ll have to do it myself,” Hai told Zing. “I have to be stringent so people will be afraid. Then they will obey the law and drivers will stop parking on pavement.”

[Top photo via Luat Khoa]

Relate Articles:

D1 Official Doan Ngoc Hai Seeks Complete 'Carte Blanche' to Continue Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

Inside Saigon Official’s Controversial Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

Chasing Pavements: In Defense of Saigon's Sidewalk Economy

Related Articles

in Vietnam

$14 Million Approved For Restoration Of Hanoi’s 112-Year-Old Long Biên Bridge

The fate of one of Vietnam’s most beloved and storied structures took another positive turn last week when the government approved a $14 million restoration package for Long Biên Bridge.

in Vietnam

'Amazing Race Vietnam' Apologizes for Challenge Harming Coral Reef

An underwater challenge during this year’s installment of The Amazing Race Vietnam is not sitting well with environmentalists.

in Vietnam

'Engaging With Vietnam' Conference Ruminates on Heritage in Huế

“Living with Heritage, (Re)Creating Heritage: Vietnam and the World” is the title of the 14th Engaging with Vietnam conference, a series of activities including academic panel discussions, keynote tal...

in Vietnam

10 Killed, Over 30 Missing in Central and Northern Vietnam as Storm Son-Tinh Brings Flash Floods

Heavy rains from storm Son-Tinh, which eventually weakened to a tropical depression, have caused flash floods and fatalities in central Vietnam.

in Vietnam

104-Year-Old Great-Great Grandmother Fights Off Robber

Taking advantage of the elderly will inevitably result in some bad karma, a lesson a Dong Nai man quickly learned after attempting to rob Vo Thi Bai, a 104-year-old woman.

in Vietnam

116-Year-Old Recognized As Vietnam's Oldest Man

The Vietnam Record Organization (VRO) has recognized 116-tear-old Y'N Dong of Đắk Nông Province as the country’s oldest man, reports Vietnam Net.

Partner Content