Fee collection for temporary use of sidewalks, part of roads needs clarification

The HCMC People’s Committee claimed that paying fee for the temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads is necessary and suitable for the management task while creating more convenience for users.
The paid parking lot on Le Lai Street in District 1

The paid parking lot on Le Lai Street in District 1

In the explanation about maintaining road traffic safety and order in HCMC, Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong admitted that the effectiveness of handling encroachment on roads and sidewalks lately has not been as expected due to inconsistent infrastructure investments and the high need to earn a living of certain city residents.

Meanwhile, as the applicable legal documents cannot meet the real needs in HCMC, the HCMC People’s Committee is focusing on developing necessary legal regulations within its power to increase the management capability to better keep the order on both roads and sidewalks to ensure traffic safety.

One such solution is the resolution about collecting fee for the temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads, effective as of the beginning of next year. Before this was Decision No.32/2023/QD-UBND by the HCMC People’s Committee on how to manage and use sidewalks and part of roads without causing traffic disorder or unsafety or occupying 5 meters of the front space of a building gate, and to ensure at least 1.5m of walking space for pedestrians.

After the introduction of Decision 32 and the related resolution on fee collection for temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads in HCMC, all localities here have checked the eligibility of the roads under their management for implementation.

Head of the Urban Management Division of District 6 Doan Tran Hai Au commented that there should clearer regulations on the subjects affected by these two legal documents.

Pham Huu The from District 1 added that the sidewalk in front of a house is the appearance of that house. When allowing the use of such space, it is necessary to consider the right of the house owner to use the front-house space for personal purposes. Clearly identifying the proportions of space saved for house owners and for use under fee collection is a must. If house owners want to lease this space, they must also ask for approval from the local authorities.

Many other city residents support the opinion above, saying that it is essential to calculate and arrange the temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads sensibly to suit the specific features of that area while ensuring urban aesthetics and general environmental hygiene. Violations must be immediately dealt with.

Vice Head of the Urban Management Division of Binh Tan District To Thanh Tam shared that his unit has advised the Binh Tan District People’s Committee on effective implementation of the resolution on fee collection for temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads in the district from January 1, 2024.

The theoretically eligible space will be inspected once more for the real status to ensure both the rights of residents there and effective management. However, there should be clear regulations on the state units in charge of collecting fees, managing this collection, issuing use permits, and monitoring the process. Binh Tan District is going to select the most suitable routes to adopt the resolution first and gradually expand to others.

Head Le Truong Hai Hieu of the Economy-Budget Board under the HCMC People’s Council stressed that this fee collection is compliant with the Law on Fees and Charges to increase the effectiveness of using roads and sidewalks. He also asked that the HCMC People’s Committee must carefully prepare capable human resources, implementation methods, and proper usages of this amount, along with frequent checking to ensure transparency and avoid any negativities. Besides launching the resolution consistently citywide, the municipal authorities must strictly handle violations on illegal encroachment of sidewalks or roads.

Head of HCMC Institute of Economy and Management Tran Quang Thang commented that the implementation of fee collection must ensure the rights of both traders, pedestrians, and road users. Food selling on sidewalks must meet criteria on food safety to be granted a permit to lease the space. This means criteria for the temporary use of sidewalks and part of roads must be carefully developed right at the beginning, no matter how hard the task is. In addition, residents should be allowed to supervise this fee collection for transparency sake and citizen right ensuring.

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