Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Corporation, has rejected all accusations made against his company of deforesting and appropriating land in Laos and Cambodia by the NGO Global Witness, calling them "groundless."
Tourists walk along Hang Bac street in the Old Quarter. Ten inner-city streets will be pedestrianised over the weekend from early next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
The streets are Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, Dong Xuan, Le Lai, Le Thach, Le Thai To, Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Khay and Trang Tien in Hoan Kiem District.
The streets would open for pedestrians from January 1 from 6am on Saturday to 10pm on Sunday. The same schedule would apply on national holidays.
The project was expected to help preserve the capital's culture and boost tourism and trade.
According to the department's survey on affected local residents in these streets, 925 households would be affected by the project, of which 71 per cent supported the project.
The survey also found that residents in 10 walking streets owned more than 1,500 vehicles, mostly motorbikes. They usually kept their vehicles at home or in parking lots nearby.
A map of 10 streets in Hoan Kiem District that are to be closed to vehicles. — VNS File Photo
The parking lots would also be used for public vehicles. Neighbouring streets would also be used as parking places on holidays.
Pham Minh Hang, resident in Dong Xuan Street said it was a nice idea to create pedestrian areas where she and other residents could escape from the noise pollution and gas emissions for a while.
"I think the authorities should also arrange parking lots efficiently to avoid disrupting residents' trading activities," she said.
Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Dong Xuan and Hang Giay streets were already closed to traffic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 11pm. — VNS