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Nguyen Thi Chi, general director of Duc Manh, recently told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the blocking of the parking lot was due to fire hazards that Big C refused to address.
“We blocked the underground parking lot on July 7 because our earlier requests that Big C remove gas cylinders that they put in unrented areas went unanswered,” she said. “Also, the contract does not allow them to cook in many areas of the building.”
Chi said the Danang fire department had many times asked Duc Manh to prevent activities that would easily lead to fires.
“There are between 3,000-5,000 people in the building at any given time. Besides Big C, there are offices and apartments. If anything happens, the responsibility fall on me and no-one else, so I have to do something about the risks,” she said.
She explained that the wastewater valve was closed because Big C Danang used 90 per cent of the building’s wastewater capacity, but based on the rented area they should only use one third.
Nguyen Nu To Nga, manager of Big C Danang, earlier said that the company’s contract with Duc Manh stipulates that Big C Danang is going to rent Vinh Trung Plaza from the underground parking lot to the fourth floor for 40 years, starting from 2016, with subsequent amendments as agreed upon by the two parties.
On the other hand, Chi said that the contract was not made with Big C Danang, but with French company Vindemia.
“We have asked Vindemia and Big C numerous times to stop production and processing inside the building because these activities are not specified in the contract, but to no avail. Now that Big C has changed owners, we do not know who we are going to work with in case something happens,” she said.
She added that she let Big C operate for ten years in peace because she didn’t know much about the law. “Vindemia was the one to sign the contract. If they want to re-rent the space to someone else, they have to get our permission first. When this came to the management’s attention, we requested Big C to show a document from Vindemia authorising them to use the space, which they could not produce,” Chi said, adding that the change of ownership from Groupe Casino to Central Group further complicates the issue.
Big C Danang refused to provide Tuoi Tre with information on its relationship with Vindemia and Big C.
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