Friday, January 23, 2009

vietnam vs. hawkers

Authorities in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, want to banish hawkers. Yet from this photo, it seems the street markets are quite restrained. Viet Nam News has the disturbing details:

"We don’t know how long the market will exist so we won’t invest in upgrading the stall," said a local trader at Hoe Nhai Street market.

The market, in Nguyen Trung Truc Ward, Ba Dinh District, has existed for 30 years despite local authority efforts to wipe it out.

According to municipal authority statistics, 40 per cent of temporary markets have no water-pipeline system, 41 per cent have no electric system, and 42 per cent were flooded after a big rain.
Thirty years on, and they're still being blamed. Does the government think the street vendors should install their own electrical grid, or their own drainage system? How could that actually happen -- or is the government simply blaming the victim of its own misguided policies?

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