HCMC downtown park damaged during tourism fair

By Dinh Van   May 9, 2024 | 10:00 pm PT
More than 6,000 square meters of grass, flower beds and brick pathways at a HCMC park have been damaged after it served as a venue for a tourism festival.

At the September 23 Park in District 1 on Thursday morning, large patches of grass could be seen turning brown and exposing the soil underneath.

Flower plants of 40-50 cm were either broken or tilted while decorative pothos plants along Le Lai Street had wilted.

The damage was evidently done during the 20th Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival organized by the Tourism Promotion Center from March 28 to April 10.

A representative of the park management said that the booths placed over the plant beds and grass for several days were responsible for the damage.

Besides, visitors had trampled on plants, he said.

After the event the park and the organizers had assessed the damage to calculate restoration costs.

They found more than 5,500 square meters of buffalo grass and 779 square meters of flower beds had died, and nearly 30 square meters of granite, concrete flooring and brick pathways were broken.

The restoration and repairs are estimated at over VND484 million (US$19,000).

"For almost a month now the park’s management has been ... requesting the organizers to recompense the costs of replanting the grass and flower beds, but to no avail," the representative, who asked to remain unidentified, said.

According to the city Department of Construction’s technical infrastructure management center, the tourism festival severely impacted the park's landscape and affected public services.

It too has sent documents to relevant units demanding payment for maintenance, repair and damage recovery at the park.

Le Truong Hien Hoa, deputy head of the Department of Tourism, said the grass and plants had been damaged because of the hot weather during the event.

Repair works have not been done yet due to procedural issues, he claimed.

"The department has asked the city People's Committee to allocate funds to restore the park as soon as possible."

An ariel photo of the September 23 Park taken in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

An ariel photo of the September 23 Park in HCMC taken in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

The September 23 Park between Quach Thi Trang Square and Pham Ngu Lao, Le Lai and Nguyen Trai streets in the heart of the city spreads more than nine hectares.

Before 1975 it was the Saigon train station.

It now consists of three areas. Part of area A (next to Quach Thi Trang Square) has been cleared and fenced for the construction of the underground station for the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line.

Authorities have been planning to renovate the park since 2020, but have yet to start work.

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