Tasks to develop Hoa Lac urban area set out
The Prime Minister has approved the tasks that must be undertaken during the development of the Hoa Lac urban area, about 30 km west of Hanoi by 2030, with a view to easing the burden of population pressure in the centre.
The 17,300-hectare urban space, built on swathes of Quoc Oai and Thach That districts and Son Tay town outside of Hanoi, is home to four functional specialised zones: Vietnam National University, Hoa Lac high-tech park, a medical centre and an ecological urban area.
The assigned tasks comprise of analysing and evaluating the natural conditions, socio-economy, population and facilities in the region as well as making recommendations for planned future projects.
The PM has said that relevant agencies need to identify the scale of the urban area’s functional zones, technical economic norms on population density and principles for each zone’s development.
In addition, specific measures must be carried out to develop the modern urban area comprehensively and encourage resort construction in the area. Solutions to reduce the use of agricultural land and ecological preservation land for non-agricultural purposes also need to be discernable.
Mekong Delta moves to enhance rice quality
The Mekong Delta provinces aim to implement a number of programmes to enhance their post-harvest rice quality, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development.
From now through to 2020, the localities plan to receive power-driven help for up to 80 percent of their rice growing area by using up to 25,000 additional machines in their harvest and post-harvest activities.
In 2015, they target having at least 50 percent of rice coverage harvested and dried by machines.
An additional 70 modern drying systems, with a capacity of 10-30 tonnes of rice per hour, will be introduced across the region, along with establishing a close link with centres for processing rice for export by 2017.
A project is also underway to upgrade the facilities and capacity of the regional storage system to four million tonnes of rice, up from around one million tonnes. Rice will be kept for longer and in better conditions.
The efforts are expected to reduce rice production costs and post-harvest losses, while increasing annual revenue and production efficiency for farmers, processors and exporters alike.
The Mekong Delta has some 2.3 million ha of land for rice cultivation with two main crops a year, producing between 12- 14 million tonnes each year, of which 12 percent is lost due to lack of drying facilities.
Over 333 billion VND invested to develop central rural areas
The central province of Phu Yen is carrying out the second phase of the Integrated Rural Development Sector Project in Central Provinces with an investment of 333 billion USD (15.5 million USD) sourced though loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and corresponding provincial capital.
The locality is carrying out four sub-projects, including upgrading a 19.5-kilometre irrigational system and 24.5-kilometre embankment road; building a 9.1-kilometre road and anti-salinity dyke in An Cu, An Hiep and An Hoa communes and upgrading Suoi Coi dam.
The projects aims to improve resident livelihoods through enhancing access to agricultural infrastructure, creating job opportunities and reducing natural disaster impacts.
Earlier, the ADB and the French Agency for Development (AFD) provided loans worth over 202 billion VND (9.4 million USD) to the province to improve agricultural infrastructure, contributing to the locality’s implementation of the National Target Programme on building new-style rural areas.-
Quality a priority for HCM City’s first metro line
Quality is to be top priority for the ongoing construction of the Urban Railway Line 1 connecting Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien Theme Park, Secretary of HCM City’s Party Committee Le Thanh Hai said.
Hai made the remark at a meeting in HCM City on Tuesday with Yoichi Miyamoto, Chairman of Shimizu Corporation, which is in charge of constructing the line.
He praised the firm’s efforts in reducing pollution and noise, ensuring workplace safety and staying on schedule.
He pointed to the company’s recent construction work in front of the City’s Opera House as an example. The city, he said, will be able to complete the upgrade of Nguyen Hue Street in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Southern Liberation and National Reunification.
He pledged to support the Japanese firm tackle difficulties that arise in future projects.
Miyamoto, in turn, expressed hope that the firm will be able to carry out projects not only in HCM City but across Viet Nam.
Metro Line 1’s 14 stations span nearly 20km of track, 2.6km of which will be underground. The project will take over US$2 billion to construct.
Designs for HCM City’s first metro car are moving forward after a recent two-week feedback viewing. The Japanese contractor, Hitachi, delivered a mock-up of the metro cabin earlier this month and it has been on display at a depot on Road 11, Long Binh Ward, District 9 for 350 participants who offered feedback to the city Urban Railway Management Board.
According to 285 feedback forms, 122 rated the trial model as “good”, 115 as “fairly good,” 30 as “medium” and nine felt it was “bad.”
Most of the opinions, however, were favourable towards the colour and shape of passenger seats, the board said.
In an attempt to answer some of the criticisms about the shape of the cabin, Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the Urban Railway Management Board, explained that the display was only for the urban metro train, not the express train. The lack of aerodynamism in the cabin design was sacrificed to provide the driver with better vision, Cuong said.
However, the cabin appearance would be adjusted to make it more beautiful, he added.
He also said that his agency would invite scientists and experts to comment on and give recommendations for the mock-up.
The board will evaluate the public and specialists’ opinions and submit a modification report to the city People’s Committee for consideration before having Hitachi build a final bid design.
The mock-up is part of Hitachi’s bid for the metro Line 1 project, which includes providing electromechanical equipment, the cabin and wagons, the metro rail and maintenance work worth 39.4 billion Japanese yen (US$328 million).
The project broke ground in August 2012, is slated for completion in 2019 and will go into operation in 2020.
Initial daily ridership is predicted at 186,000 passengers, rising to 620,000 by 2020 and one million a day by 2040. Trains will run at up to 110 km/h on elevated sections and 80km/h underground with headways of around five to six minutes.
Grave crowding necessitates new cemeteries in Ha Noi
Authorities have approved several new cemeteries in Ha Noi to deal with overcrowding at most of the old places of burial. Space at the old cemeteries is tight as urbanisation pours thousands more people into outlying districts.
About VND24 trillion (US$1.1 billion) will be invested to upgrade cemeteries or build new ones. By 2050, the total land occupied by cemeteries throughout Ha Noi will be about 1,250ha.
However, creating cemeteries is not as easy as it seems. Despite the fact that death faces everyone, some cemeteries have stayed on the drawing board because of negative reactions by local residents.
Most don’t want to live anywhere near a cemetery because of old superstitions or the fear that cemeteries may pollute the soil, said Pham Sy Liem, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Construction Association.
To receive the support of residents, he said it would be better to relocate the cemeteries to distant locations.
Tran Huy Dung, the director of the Land Development Centre, said expanding or creating cemeteries was slow or often came to a stop because of the response of residents.
Many people protested and blocked land clearance at a site chosen in Me Linh district to build Thanh Tuoc Cemetery Park.
Hoa Sen Vang Investment Joint Stock Company, the investor in the park, said residents even strongly opposed the building of a fence.
According to the Ha Noi steering committee, Yen Ky Cemetery Park in Ba Vi district faced a similar reaction.
Le Thi Phuong, a Ba Vi resident, said she opposed the project because of the risk of environmental pollution.
“I don’t agree with the project because it would affect water resources as well as the environment,” she said.
The authorities cannot implement the project due to unfinished land clearance, a representative of the committee said.
Vu Hong Khanh, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said to gain approval from residents, authorities should teach them about the importance of the projects.
He added that authorities should listen to residents, but also have reasonable compensation policies in place.
In addition, local authorities should have strict measures to deal with protestors, Khanh said.
Vietnam tour guides just fail to do their job
While a tour guide is supposed to provide assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to vacationers, some would only do the otherwise and scare tourists away.
As soon as tourists begin their journey to explore Vietnam, they will meet their tour guides, who could be considered the Vietnamese ambassadors for tourism.
But many foreign tourists have asserted that they will never return to the country after being guided, and in some cases abandoned, by local tour guides.
On February 3 last year, more than 100 Hong Kong tourists were taken to Ha Long Bay, located in the northern province of Quang Ninh, to explore the UNESCO heritage site by Khang Thai Co.
But shortly after their arrival, the tour guide vanished into thin air, leaving the tourists with their jaw fell.
Ha Quang Long, director of the Quang Ninh tourism department, toldTuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the following day that the tour guide in charge of the package “had tried to pay a visit to his home” but failed to return on time.
“He should have told the tourists about his plan,” Long said.
The department asked Khang Thai Co. to send another tour guide to serve the tourists an hour after being notified of it, Long added.
Many tour guides, meanwhile, pay almost no attention to presenting a clean image when working with their customers.
Some take tourists around in rumpled outfits and their hair is kept long and unkempt, according to newswire Bao Phap Luat (Law Newspaper).
Even worse, tourists are sometimes guided by those with unpleasant body smells, the Hanoi-based newswire said.
Cao Tri Dung, chairman of the travel association of the central city of Da Nang, said many tour guides think of their own benefits more than those of the tourists or travel agencies.
“I’m not trying to be one-sided, but it’s common for six to seven out of ten tour guides of a tour organizer to have such a working attitude,” he told Bao Phap Luat.
The first thing these tour guides do whenever they lead a new group of vacationers is think about taking them to certain shopping venues where they will enjoy commissions from the store owners on purchases of the tourists, Dung elaborated.
“They also try to bring their vacationers to destinations outside the official itinerary without the tour organizers’ knowledge, and to get generous tips from them,” he added.
“So there’s no time left for them to introduce the beauty or profound culture of the attractions.”
Tourists thus have to pay more on their trips and sometimes they fall prey to rip-offs by the shops that are not recommended by the travel companies whose tour packages they purchased.
They will feel cheated and there is very little likelihood that such experience on the first trip to Vietnam would encourage them to return.
While a tour guide is expected to interpret the cultural and natural heritage of the attraction they take tourists to, some lack the basic knowledge of even the most famous places of interest.
When introducing the Temple of Literature in Hanoi to a group of Spanish tourists, a tour guide said there is an area in the temple where eunuchs were buried, according to Bao Phap Luat.
The area is in fact the “Imperial Academy,” known as Vietnam’s first national university and where many steles of Vietnamese doctors are laid, which the tour guide said are “graves of the eunuchs.”
Unfortunately, one of the tourists, who had visited the place before, spoke out to correct the tour guide, leaving his face white with embarrassment.
Many tour guides, meanwhile, tend to give tourists with indifferent answers to questions about the cultural, historical details of an attraction, or recommendation for good restaurants or hotels.
Some speak broken English or have a poor command of other foreign languages, while those who have good language proficiency have little tourism knowledge.
Nearly 100% of tourism employees graduating from tourism training schools in Ho Chi Minh City have to be re-trained before they can do their job, Bao Phap Luat said, citing a report that surveyed 20 travel firms in the southern hub.
Fighting corruption is no easy task in Vietnam despite hefty rewards for whistleblowers
Authorities have promised to reward whistleblowers with up to US$160,000 but there remain obstacles obstructing the fight against corruption in Vietnam, an official has said.
Cu Tat Dung, a member of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs, made the statement in a story published in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday.
One of the responsibilities of the commission is combating corruption.
Regarding the whopping reward, Dung was referring to Joint Circular 01, to take effect on May 1, issued by the Government Inspectorate and the Ministry of Home Affairs, detailing rules on rewarding people who make outstanding achievements in anti-corruption.
Under the new regulation, people who denounce corruption and help the government of Vietnam recover from a corruption case an amount over 600 times the common minimum wage will get a reward of up to 3,000 times the common minimum salary applied at the time of denunciation.
The current common minimum salary is VND1.15 million (US$54.3) a month so the highest reward in cash amounts to VND3.45 billion, or nearly $160,000.
Although such a high bonus will play a role in encouraging everybody to report corruption, there remain a lot of obstacles for corruption fighters to overcome, Dung said.
When anybody informs authorities of a corrupt act, they enter an unequal fight as they are facing a rival who is in a position of power and has a lot of money and connections, the official said.
Meanwhile, officials assigned to handle accusations are also under much pressure, including the subjective direction of their superiors or intervention by people in positions of power, who want such allegations to be “internally” dealt with.
So these officials may refuse to verify the information provided by the denunciators and to respond to their queries and complaints, Dung said, adding that they may also transmit the letters of accusation to the wrong state agencies with a view to letting the case gradually fall into oblivion.
Under worse circumstances, the officials may try to find unclear points in letters of denunciation to reject the accusation, impose such offences as slander on the denunciators, or treat them as extremists who make trouble for others and ruin internal solidarity, the official said.
When such cases happen, they will deter corruption whistleblowers and undermine the people’s trust in law enforcement agencies, Dung said, adding that this is the biggest obstacle to the fight against corruption.
Bringing a corrupt official to the light of law is a long process, as it may require coordination between different agencies and the application of various laws and regulations, especially when many people are involved and corrupt acts are found in finance, banking, investment, construction, and land, Dung said.
Those agencies that cope with corruption allegations may have to spend a lot of time on the process of investigation, prosecution, and trial so it may take several years for a case to be completely handled, he said.
Whistleblowers may be at risk when the investigation of a corruption case is prolonged, as it is hard to keep their identity secret, Dung admitted.
Many denunciators have been subject to revenge, and even life threats, by the accused in the past years, he said.
Dung also cited a report from the Government Inspectorate as saying only 22.3 percent of the total amount of money lost in corruption cases was recovered in 2014.
“Will denunciators receive rewards immediately after a court hands down a sentence on the defendants or have to wait until the entire loss is recovered?” Dung asked.
There has yet to be a regulation on this issue, he said.
Thanh Hoa struggles with rural exodus
Young people in many of Thanh Hoa’s villages are abandoning the fields to try their chances in bigger cities or other countries, leaving behind villages of old people and children.
Thanh Hoa is one of Vietnam’s three most populous provinces and is the poorest, leaving its young people little alternative than to leave home for work elsewhere — in Thieu Giao Commune, about 80 percent of the population has gone.
The elderly in the commune said as soon as they reach working age, they leave and this exodus has been going on for decades.
“Since 1993, people started going to southern cities to sell scraps or work freelance,” said Le Thi Loan, of Thieu Giao. “They thought that this would be easier than working in the rice fields, and they wanted to earn money. Others followed suit. Some families return to their hometowns once every few years, some are gone for a decade.”
Le Duy Thang, chairman of the Thieu Giao Commune People’s Committee, said the local population was officially 7,800, but only 2,400 live there, including 900 elderly and 400 children. In the past 20 years, about 4,000 people have moved away.
In Thieu Giao Commune, dozens of hectares of fields lie abandoned because there is no one to work them. When the local authorities tried to encouraged local people to help build infrastructure, there were not enough villagers to make any difference, Thang said.
While a number of children follow their parents to work, the children left behind face have problems getting an education.
Le Thi Hong, head of the Thieu Giao Primary School said, “There was a case in which a child went to school for the first time when he was already eight years old. We even had a case when a third-grader brought his older sister to school for the first time.”
Thieu Giao is not the only commune facing depopulation problems. Many people living in coastal districts, such as Hau Loc and Quang Xuong, go overseas, often illegally, to find work, usually in China. People in mountainous communes, such as Hai Van and Mau Lam, cross into Laos and Thailand as illegal labourers.
Vietnamese man sets records for memory in Thailand
A 27-year-old Vietnamese man has set memory records in Thailand for recalling the database of 206 countries with only one error.
Duong Anh Vu wrote down 22,248 pieces of information, including cultural, economic, political and social ones during his two-hour attempt at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University late last month.
He also correctly identified 2,500 geographical names on a blank world map.
Vu is the second foreigner to be honored by Thailand Book of Records, and the first to be named for the memory category, according to news website VnExpress.
It said he has also registered for another memory attempt, aiming to recall more than 1,000 literary works and locate 20,000 geographical names on the world map.
Information about Vu’s background is quite sketchy.
He reportedly told the press that he hailed from Vietnam’s central province of Ninh Thuan, and is currently a doctorate student in Thailand.
Vu said he used to repeat classes, study at a semi-public secondary school deemed as second-rate in Vietnam, and spend his high school years at a local school specific for students with very poor performances.
Foreign swindler gets 20 years in jail
A Taiwanese man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for running a massive scam in which his accomplices pretended to be state investigators and swindled money from 33 Vietnamese victims.
At a trial on April 14, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court found Wu Tung I, 42, and his 30-year-old Vietnamese wife Vo Ngoc Bich Hien guilty of fraud. Hien was sentenced to 13 years.
Their seven accomplices received jail terms between 11 months and eight years, including Ho Nhat Khanh, who got the longest term.
According to the indictment, Wu and his wife spent VND2 million (US$93) to buy a large number of ATM cards from Khanh. Khanh told the court that he bought the cards from the defendants, who in turn had bought them from others.
After that, they called the victims on the phone, pretending to be investigators by using a hi-tech equipment to change the displayed phone numbers into those of the authorities.
They accused the victims of being involved in a money laundering case, and then threatened them to transfer money to the accounts linked to the ATM cards for investigation.
A total of 33 victims have transferred nearly VND7 billion (US$326,150) to them between November 2013 and March 2014.
In one of the cases, on March 10, 2014 Hien called a woman, identified only as C. She impersonated an employee of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and asked C to pay a telephone bill of VND9 million.
Hien then transferred the call to one of her accomplices, who claimed that he was a Hanoi police officer and that C was being investigated for money laundering.
He ordered her to transfer all the money in her saving account at a bank, around VND569 million, to “a police account” for investigation. He also promised a refund within 24 hours if she was found innocent.
C. reported to the police after the money was not returned to her.
Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of Khanh, Wu, Hien and other accomplices.
Investigators also found Wu was being wanted by Taiwanese police on drug smuggling charges.
Vietnamese-French honoured with medal of merit
Vietnamese-French Nguyen Phuc Ky, a founding member of the Van Canh Friendship Village in Hanoi, has been awarded a Medal of Civil and Military Merits (French: Medaille d’Or de l’Office republicain des Merites Civiques et Militaries) of France for his part in the village’s construction.
The medal was presented by the Committee for the Van Canh Friendship Village in Essonne Province and the provincial Association of Republic Veterans (ARAC) in Paris’s outlying city of Palaiseau on April 10.
As a member of the General Union of Vietnamese in France, Ky joined street demonstrations against the American war in Vietnam and made donations to the home country.
Later, he joined architect Vo Thanh Nghia in designing the building of the Vietnamese Embassy in France at 62 Boileau Street in Paris.
He also served as a technical advisor for the embassy and was then honoured with the War Resistance Medal, second class, by the State of Vietnam.
When elected to the ARAC Executive Committee in 1993, he proposed that the ARAC engage in practical actions to support Vietnam, which led to the establishment of Van Canh Village, one of the facilities that care for war veterans and Agent Orange/dioxin victims.
Raphael Vahe, ARAC President and Chairman of the French Committee for the Van Canh Friendship Village, spoke highly of Ky’s role in increasing the friendship and solidarity between France and Vietnam.
He stressed that the decoration is a demonstration of the friendship between the two countries.
Medical supplies offered to Phu Yen fishermen
As many as 150 cabinets of medicine were presented to fishermen in central Phu Yen province on April 15 by the Ministry of Health and local authorities.
The beneficiaries hail from Tuy Hoa City (70), Tuy An district (30), Dong Hoa district (30), and Song Cau town (20).
The cabinets, each worth over 2 million VND (100 USD), funded by the Health Trade Union, contain various kinds of common medicines and medical tools, and can be used by fishermen should they become ill or injured at sea.
The event is part of a programme launched by the government to improve fishermen’s health when they work offshore, contributing to economic development and the protection of national territorial waters, Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan said at the offering ceremony.
Phan Thuan, a beneficiary from Tuy Hoa City, said the offerings will help him and his colleagues feel more secure in doing their offshore work, when medical assistance may be far away.
Ca Mau: Khmer people greeted on Chol Chnam Thmay holiday
Deputy Head of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region (SCSR) Duong Quoc Xuan, has presented gifts to Khmer people in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau on their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay New Year holiday.
During his visit to several Khmer Theravada Buddhist pagodas, Xuan briefed followers on the country’s socio-economic situation and State policies to improve local living standards, promote freedom of religion and preserve the unique customs and cultural values of Khmer people.
Speaking to representatives of the Patriotic United Buddhist Association and Khmer people, Xuan hailed their contributions to national development by actively building a better living environment and new-style rural areas, reducing poverty and maintaining social security.
He urged the Buddhist monks to continue strengthening solidarity among local people and encouraging them to work hard and apply advanced technology in production.
Provincial authorities have also visited Khmer pagodas and Salatels to greet local people and mark the special occasion.
Ministry gives prizes to winners of TV report competition
The Ministry of Health yesterday gave prizes to winners of television report competition” Vietnam’s medicine sector and 60 years of following Uncle ho’s teaching”
The competition was launched by the Ministry and Vietnam’s Press Association four months ago. The organizers have received many entries from press organizations in the country. Entries reflect model of medical workers who are devoted in taking care of patients’ health.
This is the very first time that television report competion of health sector has received many good entries. The organizers decided to give the first prize to entry ” Silent hearts” of staffs of Health Education center in the central province of Nghe An.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at the prize-giving ceremony that the competition was one of the activities to mark 60th year anniversary of the day when President Ho Chi Minh sent his letter to the health sector on February 27, 1955. Since then, February 27 has been chosen Vietnam Doctor’s Day.
MOH to inspect Tan Hiep Phat Company
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has set up a team to carry out a 30-day inspection at a local well-known beverage maker Tan Hiep Phat Company whose located at 219 Binh Duong Boulevard in Thuan An Town of the southern province of Binh Duong regarding to food safety following repeated reports about unusual objects in its soft drinks bottles.
The inspection will begin its mission at the middle of April. Inspectors will oversee the implementation of food safety regulation at the company. From inspection, if inspectors discover shortcoming in policy, they will petition to the government for amending.
Before, on February 13, following the Ministry of Health’s demand, the provincial Department of Health had set up an inter-department inspection team to supervise the company’s implementation of food safety and production environment.
Inspections conducted in the company after a consumer was prosecuted for taking VND500 million (US$ 23,296) from the company to keep a secret that a product made by Tan Hiep Phat has an insect inside. Later, many other customers also detected the company’s product containing insects in a soft drink produced by Tan Hiep Phat.
However, after the inspection, inspectors from the provincial Department of Health went to the conclusion that there has been no detected food safety violation.
23rd National Mathematics Olympiad Competition opened
The 23rd National Mathematics Olympiad Competition in 2015 was opened in Hue city on April 13- 19, with participation of 672 students from 88 universities, colleges across the country.
During seven day competition, students have to pass two subjects, including algebra, analytic.
Mathematics Olympiad Competition was launched in 1993 by Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam Science and Technology Association, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), Vietnam Institute of Mathematics, Vietnamese Students’ Central Association in collaboration with the universities and colleges.
The annual competition aims to improve mathematics learning, teaching methods as well as encourage mathematics learning of students at universities and colleges throughout the country.
Hospitals see increase in child respiratory illnesses
There has been a sharp increase in the number of children being admitted to hospitals in Hanoi suffering respiratory illnesses due to adverse weather conditions and air pollution.
At the Vietnam-Cuba Hospital, the number of child patients has doubled to 1,000, of which 70 percent were suffering respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma.
Doctors at National Pediatrics Hospital said about 3,000 children have been admitted to hospital, up 30 percent on a week earlier.
The head of pediatrics at Bach Mai Hospital, Nguyen Tien Dung, said that in the past week the number of children admitted because of respiratory problems was 30 percent higher than normal.
“Children are sensitive to changes in weather,” Dung said. “Viruses can also grow quickly when hot and dry weather suddenly changes into cool and wet.”
The Environmental Performance Index ranked Vietnam among the worst 10 of 178 countries for air pollution last year.
Police want Hanoi’s main train station moved
Police want Hanoi Railway Station moved out of the city centre to reduce congestion and accidents.
The proposal was made by Colonel Dao Thanh Hai, deputy head of Hanoi Police Department, during a meeting with the Transport Ministry on April 15.
Hai said the relocation is necessary because trains travelling inside the city cause congestion at crossings.
The Vietnam Railway Corporation (VRC) said there were 388 railway accidents in 2014, with 161 fatalities and 256 injuries. In the first two months of 2015, there were 86 collisions occurred, killing 37 people and injuring 48.
There are many residential areas along the railroad and it was common for people to try to use crossings even when they are closed for an oncoming train. Vietnam has 6,000 registered crossings, of which 4,200 are illegally opened by locals.
Tran Ngoc Thanh, the general director of VRC, said the Hanoi Railway Station is the hub of the city’s rail network and its location is integral to the city’s urban planning.
“If we relocate the station now, then we don’t know how to connect all the railways for the next 10 years,” he said.
The Hanoi Railway Station, in Le Duan Street, Cua Nam Ward, Hoan Kiem District, was originally built in 1902, with the main hall rebuilt after being bombed in the American War. Its side wings remain as they were constructed. It is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every Vietnamese province.
Thanh said Hanoi has about 400 crossings and it was almost impossible to remove these crossing simply to meet the demands of street traffic.
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