The Hanoi People's Committee has approved a proposal for constructing an underground parking lot of nearly 17,000sq.m in Thong Nhat Park.

The committee's vice chairman signed a document on May 5, approving the plan of building a three-storey underground car park on the premises of the park at Hanoi's Le Duan Street.

The city has assigned the Department of Planning and Architecture to guide Hanoi Parking One Member Co. Ltd. to complete the project and announce it to the public for their opinions.

Spokesman for the committee Nguyen Thinh Thanh said that the land at 295 Le Duan Street had been lying unused since 1997 until Hanoi Parking One Member Co. Ltd. proposed to the city authority to assign the land for the parking lot.

Last November, the company put forth the construction plan for the three-storey car park, each storey of more than 5,600sq.m, which can accommodate 390 cars.

Trees and grass will occupy more than 7,580sq.m. Some 2,230 square metres will be dedicated for driveways, and the remaining for additional construction works.

Investment capital for the project will be mobilised from companies, businesses, and individuals.

The project had earlier met with severe opposition from the public, who cited that it will narrow public and green space in the capital city.

According to Thanh, the city authority decided to implement the project after considering the opinions of experts, authorised agencies, and city residents.

The purpose of the project is to benefit the people and meet the demands of residents, he added.

Previously, the land, which was part of the park, was proposed for a five-star hotel, Hanoi Royal. However, the construction of the hotel was stopped after many local people strongly opposed the project.-VNA