Hanoi will spend VND50 billion (US$2.6 million) building five giant gates to welcome visitors to the city center, VnExpress reported Wednesday, but several experts opposed the plan.
Decorated with images of traditional Vietnamese symbols like bronze drums from the Dong Son culture (2000 BC-200 AD), the entrances will be set up at national highways No. 5 and 1A, the Phap Van Cau Gie Highway, the Lang-Hoa Lac Highway, and the Bac Thang Long Noi Bai Highway, according to the news website.
Two of the five contractors will pay to build the two gates as presents to the capital on the occasion of its 1,000th anniversary this October, the report said.
Three others will incur at least 50 percent of investment of the other gates, it added.
Hanoi authorities will withdraw a total of 14,000 square meters of land by July 1 for the projects, according to VnExpress.
However, in an interview with Thanh Nien, several experts expressed their concerns over the project, saying it was planned in a rush.
Pham Thanh Tung, deputy editor-in-chief of the Kien Truc (Architecture) Magazine, said it was too soon to start building the greeting gates at the moment, given that there are only 100 days to go before the festival begins.
Tung said the public was concered about whether or not the project's planners had really considered the gates' designs thoroughly.
He suggested building five "simple" and "solemn" gates for the anniversary celebration only.
Strong gates should only be built when planners can be sure their designs represent the country and the capital, he said.
He also argued that the public should have a say in the designs and that they needed the approval of the citizenry before building them.
Ngo Doan Duc, vice chairman of Vietnam Association of Architects, argued that the gates should be designed for removal in two years so it would be less wasteful to remove them if their designs are not "unsuitable."
Duc said the project was too expensive and a waste of land and money.