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Uphill challenge for Saigon residents with doorsteps ripped out

By Quynh Tran   March 20, 2017 | 10:17 pm GMT+7

As the cleanup campaign rolls through District 1, many households have been left without a doorstep.

Authorities in Saigon's District 1 started their “battle for the sidewalks" early in February in a bid to reclaim the pavements for their original purpose and turn the district into a “Little Singapore”, but both street vendors and residents have suffered.

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With their front steps ripped out for encroaching on the sidewalk, many families living on Chu Manh Trinh Street in District 1 have been forced to climb 1.4m to get into their homes for the past week. Photos by Quynh Tran/VnExpress

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“Since the district authorities removed my front steps, it’s been really hard for us to get into the house,” said Duong Thi Ngoc Xien, a 66-year-old resident.

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Temporary steps have become a reasonable solution.

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Some people are using tables and chairs as an alternative.

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Or just chairs.

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“I have to take some time to get ready and gear up before climbing into my house,” Nguyen Thi Ty, 54, said.

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This 84-year-old lady was too tired for the climb, so she decided to stay on the table for the whole day.

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A wooden staircase was the best choice for this family, after a ladder and a plastic stool proved insufficient.

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Business of these carpenters blooms after the sidewalk revolution.

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But it seems harder for this coffee shop.

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There has been no real solution for motorbikes so far, but keep a close watch on them...

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... or the residents will have to spend VND1.6 million ($40) for ramps like this. “It needs two men to push the motorbike into the house,” said Tran Thanh Phong, the home owner.

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A building on Nguyen Hue Street displays a sign, saying: “Please enter by the basement door.”.

The sidewalk cleanup projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have been widely applauded by locals, but have also raised concerns for being too extreme.

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