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Vietnam’s HCM City to limit private vehicles to fight pollution

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A Vietnamese woman and a baby wear masks against pollution while riding in a cyclo taxi in the busy southern business hub of Ho Chi Minh City. To reduce the air pollution problem, the city’s transport department plans to introduce a special consumption tariff and higher fees on private vehicles. Reuters

HO CHI MINH CITY (Xinhua) – The Transport Department of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is mulling a special consumption tariff and higher fees on private vehicles, as well as an environmental fee to mitigate air and noise pollution caused by private vehicles.

The department also plans to limit the number of newly licensed vehicles through an annual quota, and require each citizen who wants to buy a new motorbike or car to bid for vehicle ownership, Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.

In 2013, Ho Chi Minh City had 6.4 million private vehicles, of which nearly 5.9 million were motorbikes, accounting for 91.7 percent of the total number of vehicles. The rest were automobiles.

By the end of March 2017, the city had nearly 8 million vehicles, of which motorbikes accounted for 92 percent of the total number.

By 2020, the number of vehicles in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to reach 10 million, including 800,000 cars. Most families in the city own at least one motorbike.

Air pollution in Ho Chi Minh City caused by vehicles has become even more serious than the level of pollution emitted by industrial zones, local environment experts said.

The amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the city is estimated to be 38.5 million tons per year, making up about 16 percent of Vietnam’s total. Of the amount, carbon dioxide emissions from automotive exhaust account for 45 percent.

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