1,000 trees to come down as Hanoi axes green space for road expansion

By Ba Do   June 1, 2017 | 07:00 pm GMT+7

Trees that have taken decades to grow will be sacrificed as urbanization once again takes priority over the environment.

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To widen a 5.5-km (3.7-mile) section of Pham Van Dong Street stretching from Mai Dich Overpass in Cau Giay District to Thang Long Bridge in Bac Tu Liem District, Hanoi will axe 1,000 trees before October.

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Authorities will also remove 158 trees for replanting and trim 142 others for the expansion project, which will cost VND3.1 trillion ($136.5 million) in total.

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Some of the trees to be cut down have diameters of up to 1.2 meters.

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Many trees have been there for decades.

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The plan to cut down the trees has been met with mixed opinions from experts and locals.

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Nguyen Thanh Hung, a xe om (motorbike taxi) driver on Pham Van Dong Street, said it takes decades for the trees to grow so big, so he hopes they can be used as a central reservation, rather than being cut down.

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Work has almost been completed to clear the site on Pham Van Dong Street to expand it from 56 meters to 93 meters, allowing vehicles to travel along six lanes.

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Hanoi had to clear 39 hectares (96 acres) of land for the project and spend VND1.82 trillion on compensation for residents and businesses.