NA chairman calls for restricted car access in Hanoi to control pollution

By Son Ha   March 14, 2024 | 11:49 pm PT
NA chairman calls for restricted car access in Hanoi to control pollution
Vehicles are stuck in traffic in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue suggested restricting cars in downtown areas for air pollution management, citing measures by other countries.

At a Thursday session on amendments to the Law on the Capital, chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue said environmental pollution, particularly air pollution, was a fundamental issue for Hanoi today.

Amendments to the law need to entail emission standards for cars and motorbikes, Hue said.

When it comes to vehicle restriction measures to manage pollution, Hanoi can consider what certain other countries have done, specifically banning cars that only carry one person in downtown areas and as they move in and out of the city, he added.

Hue said while such a policy does exist in some countries, it is also a restriction to people’s rights. Therefore, such a policy needs to be carefully considered when adjusting the Law on the Capital.

Hue said environmental pollution was relevant to many sectors, but for Hanoi, the city has been granted the jurisdiction to deal with the problems however it sees fit, instead of having to request approval from other entities.

Solutions to these issues should be decided by the People's Council and the People's Committee of the city, so it can distribute its resources appropriately.

"Many foreigners in Hanoi say the city is a wonderful place, save for the air quality," Hue said.

Dinh Tien Dung, Party Secretary of Hanoi, agrees that standards on environmental issues are still lacking.

"Even car charging stations do not have any standards. It might be possible that each product would have their own standards, meaning they cannot be charged by the same station, which is very wasteful," Dung said, adding that amendments to the Law on the Capital needed to take into account such standards and ensure their feasibility.

At the end of 2022, the Hanoi Public Transport Management Center told the Department of Transport to create a project to collect fees for motorized vehicles entering certain areas in the capital in order to limit their number.

The center proposed three phases for the project, with the first phase entailing 15 toll booths at nine locations along downtown routes with high amounts of traffic. The results of the first phase would be evaluated by November 30, 2025 before the second and third phase starts.

According to the draft for the amended Law on the Capital, the Hanoi People’s Council has the right to decide on investments to develop public transport, as well as a roadmap for restricting personal vehicles to reduce congestion and emissions. However, the draft has not outlined exact measures to restrict personal vehicles.

The amended Law on the Capital is expected to be passed by the National Assembly in mid-2024.

go to top