Work starts on $20 mln parking lot in HCMC

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Construction has begun on a new US$20 million privately-owned parking garage in Ho Chi Minh City, Tuoi Tre reported on Thursday.

HCMC's Tien Tien Mechanics Company is building the five-floor structure on nearly 37,000 square meters on Che Lan Vien Street in Tay Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District.

It is designed to host buses and trucks on the ground floor, while the above floors are for cars with less than 16 seats, according to the newspaper.

An automatic system built with Japanese technologies will manage parking in the structure.

The garage will also include an automatic car washing system as well as fuel stations and lodging.

As the number of vehicles in HCMC continues to rise rapidly, the municipality has been criticized for the severe lack of parking space in the city.

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In a recent report, the Ministry of Transport said that while city  authorities had designated 1,141 hectares for parking lots, just 561 hectares have been used as such. Many areas allocated for parking lots have instead been used for other purposes like swimming pools.

The ministry also said that 70 percent of 80 high-rise buildings it  inspected in the city do not have sufficient parking space.

Since 2003, HCMC authorities have planned eight underground parking lots to tackle the problem, but so far all such projects remain in limbo, mainly due to red tape.

The city is currently home to more than 4.8 million motorbikes and over 480,000 cars.

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