HCMC traders oppose district market upgrade

By Dinh Son-Ngoc Le, Thanh Nien News

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The Tan Binh Market

Hundreds of traders at a Ho Chi Minh City market have voiced opposition to the planned transformation of a local wet market into $266 million-dollar trade complex.
On Thursday, 300 traders in Tan Binh Market had a meeting with the government of Tan Binh District, which plans to build a shopping mall and a six-floor modern market on the current site of the Tan Binh Market.
Most of the traders opposed to the plan, saying the district government should only restore the market rather than turn it into a modern shopping complex.
They argued that the planned shopping complex would “just look good” but wouldn't be practical.
Do Thi Thu Le, a trader, said: “We’ve witnessed other markets such as An Dong and Van Thanh, which were rebuilt into new and modern ones, but turned out to be a waste of money since business failed to flourish, and parts of the markets were never actually occupied.” 
“In Hanoi, authorities have considered a moratorium on upgrading traditional markets into trade centers because no one shops at them. Please do not follow the bad examples of Van Thanh and An Dong,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh, a trader. 
In reply, Le Son, deputy chairman of Tan Binh District People’s Committee, said the Tan Binh Market was very old and falling apart, creating high risks of fire. 
Two thirds of the market's kiosks occupy less than a square meter each, he said, while the government has mandated that each market kiosk must be at least three-square-meters.
Son said the district authorities will hold nine more meetings with more than 3,000 traders in the market to collect their opinions before deciding if they will proceed with the project or not.
During the project, the 22,000-square-meter Tan Binh Market will be built into two facilities: a 17-floor shopping complex covering around 7,000-square-meters and a new six-floor 15,000-square-meter market.

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