A five-month campaign to clear away the city’s unplanned temporary markets has been operating since November, but now those managing the scheme are doubtful if it is a practical goal.

The campaign is being co-conducted by the Departments of Industry and Trade, Police and Transport.

Ho Quang Khanh, head of the Market Management Unit in the Department of Industry and Trade, said removing unplanned temporary markets from across the city as a difficulty and time-consuming task.

“This time, we are determined to implement an effective clearance which will deter any recurrence afterwards,” he said. “The municipal authorities have also requested officials to maintain their staff from three to six months after clearance.”

Although many temporary street markets around Hanoi had been cleared away in the past, most of them re-opened quickly, allegedly because most vendors are farmers from nearby provinces or local people who make their living by selling wares on the street.

Examples of these locations include Bach Mai Street , Bui Ngoc Duong and Nguyen Khac Can streets, Long Bien Bridge , and Quang An Ward.

Tran Nhat Duat Street resident Nguyen Thu Huyen said going into modern markets also meant taking more time for parking, while buying at a temporary market much quicker.

“You only need a few minutes to by a whole meal,” she said.

Khanh said the fundamental issue was to change customer behaviours.

“Unless customers build up a habit of shopping in modern retail formats rather than the traditional outdoor market, then unplanned temporary markets will continue to exist,” he said.

According to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, there are currently more than 260 unplanned markets in the city area which allegedly add to escalating traffic jams, environmental pollution and fall below food and hygiene safety standards./.