BackStories » Vietnam » Officials Under Fire After Trees Felled for Hanoi's Sidewalk Reclamation Campaign

Hanoi’s sidewalk reclamation campaign spares nothing in its way, not even trees.

As Hanoi continues its sweeping campaign to clear public space for the city’s pedestrians, officials in a suburban neighborhood, Cam Yen Commune, are now under fire for felling more than 70 trees that lined the village's main road, according to Zing.

Residents in the area were frustrated by the action, as the trees were not obstructing traffic on either the sidewalk or the 3.5-meter-wide roadway. On the contrary, the full-grown trees provided shade for farms and children along three kilometers of the road. Some of them were banyan trees at least 20 years old, which played an important role in the daily lives of local citizens, the news source reports.

Photo via Thanh Nien.

Pham Ngoc Ky, the commune's Party secretary, confirmed that the trees were cut down in accordance with Hanoi’s grand scheme of returning order to its urban streets.

However, Tran Duc Nguyen, chairman of the People’s Committee of Thach That District, told Zing that the move by commune authorities was not in line with the spirit of the campaign spearheaded by higher authorities. “This will be a lesson for other communes in the district,” he told the news outlet in Vietnamese.

Nguyen also added that there would be plan of action to replace the trees in the near future.

[Photo via Thanh Nien]

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