Boats, floating houses booted from West Lake hinh anh 1All boats and floating houses have to be removed from West Lake by February 20​ (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - All boats and floating houses should be removed from the West Lake in Hanoi by February 20, local authorities have confirmed.

The Thuy Khe ward People’s Committee said at a meeting with relevant agencies and representatives of tourism boats last week that failure to meet this deadline will invite strict punishment, including forced removal.

At the meeting, representatives of tourism boats and floating homes agreed with the city’s policy, but proposed that local authorities pay adequate compensation to businesses that have been operating on the West Lake.      

They also asked local authorities to consider permitting moving piers, steel bridges and boats to new positions.

However, leaders of the Thuy Khe ward People’s Committee rejected the request for compensation saying they were handling violations, not site clearance.

Inspections of business operations and safety of boats and floating houses on West Lake found that the operating licence on inland wharves of all floating works and registration of some vehicles had expired.

The Hanoi People’s Committee had asked Tay Ho district authorities to ban business operations, sports activities and aquaculture on West Lake in the first quarter of the year.

Local authorities had asked businesses to move to a planned new business area in Dam Bay, Nhat Tan ward, Tay Ho district. The new area is equipped with clean water pipes, electricity and parking areas, creating ideal conditions for doing business, according to the authorities.

However, the enterprises complained that the construction of the new area was yet to be completed and they would have to cancel a lot of tours, causing huge losses. Many businesses remained in their old locations.

On February 7, the Thuy Khe ward People’s Committee sent an official message asking businesses to remove all boats and floating houses before 4pm on February 9.    

But boat owners have yet to comply with the order.

According to Hanoi People’s Committee, 13 businesses are still operating on the lake with tour boats, duck boats and canoes, as well as floating houses and structures, such as access bridges.-VNA