Many beer restaurants and parking lots in downtown Hanoi that illegally encroach sidewalks are believed to be backed by local police and municipal government officials, mayor Nguyen Duc Chung told a conference Saturday.
Investigations during the mayor’s time as the capital’s police chief showed that 150 out of 180 beer restaurants operating on Hanoi's downtown sidewalks are “protected” by local police.
A similar story applies to unlawful parking services which have been taking up sidewalks, leaving no space for pedestrians.
“You know whose relatives are behind parking spaces near My Dinh Bus Station [in Nam Tu Liem District]? Do they come from Bac Ninh Province?,” Chung said, without providing further details.
Chung went on telling a story of a fruit shop which paid local police VND3 million ($131) every month. The shop disappeared after he summoned the responsible district police.
Following bold actions in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi had sent out as many as 1,500 officers to clear up downtown sidewalks since late February.
But Chung now says the campaign could only succeed with strong participation from police officers and local government officials.
He warned that anyone found backing up sidewalk violations would be reprimanded.
Hanoi is committed to a sustainable cleanup campaign to make sure that sidewalks will no longer be unlawfully blocked, Chung said.