Pedestrians walk around the Sword Lake (Source: internet)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Hanoi administration has announced it will pave 936 streets with natural stone in 12 districts across the city.

The move comes as the city’s pavement continues to show signs of degradation, hindering pedestrians to walk as well as worsening the image of the city, reported by Giao thong (Transport) online newspaper.

Le Van Duc, Director of the city’s Transport Department, said the natural stone’s biggest asset is its reliability of 50-70 years.

After testing the material in several sections on Nguyen Trai and Le Trong Tan streets, the department was impressed with the stone’s aesthetic feature and determined to pave hundreds of streets with the stone, he said.

Twelve companies have been selected to provide the stone for the construction, he said, and the project is estimated at under 500,000 VND (22 USD) per square metre.

By choosing only one material to pave all across the city, the city hopes to ensure consistency and avoid the current mix of stone materials around the streets.

A representative from the municipal People’s Committee said the funds to implement the project will come from the city budget and other sources.

The material’s reliability will hopefully end to the rounds of replacements and repairs required every few years, he added.

However, experts responded in a variety of ways to the city’s decision.
Dao Ngoc Nghiem, deputy head of the Hanoi Urban Planning and Developing Association, advised the city to reconsider whether the natural stone will fit with all the streets.

Le Van Thinh, former Construction Quality Manager under the Ministry of Construction, questioned whether the construction’s quality was ensured at such a low price of below 22 USD per a square metre.

Thinh said the construction’s quality often depends on two things, first, the builder and second, capital investment. “If we spend little, it may be hard to get good quality," he said.

Disagreeing with Thinh’s comment, Nguyen Van Hung, former principal of Construction University, said paving with the natural stone should be constructed along some major streets instead of all 936 streets.

Paving each and every street with the natural stone will be costly, he said.-VNA