Thứ Sáu, 3 tháng 2, 2017

Hanoi only introduced fines for littering from February 1, but few locals are aware of the new regulation.

A dumping location on Nguyen Cao - Le Quy Don intersection

According to the Decree 155, those dropping litter face a VND3m (USD134) to VND5m fine. Public urination and defecation will also face a fine of VND1m to VND3m.

In front of Trang Tien ice cream shop on Trang Tien Street, customers drop the ice cream sticks on the pavements despite the nearby rubbish bin and warnings from staff. Along Le Thach Street, people also dropped their receipts on the pavement along with the plastic bags or wrapping. The streets around Hoan Kiem Lake are also littered with empty bottles and bags.

Nguyen Thi Hoa, an employee of Hanoi Urban Environment Company said, "Many people are indifferent when they see rubbish on the streets. I actually have seen foreigners pick up the litter on the streets and throw it into the rubbish bin. It's great if the new decree can raise people's awareness."

Customers drop the ice cream sticks on the pavements

Only two out of 20 asked people around Hoan Kiem Lake said they knew about the new decree. Many people said the decree hadn't been popularised. In addition, the decree took effect during the Tet holiday so few people were aware of it.

According to the decree, heads of the districts, communes or wards all have the authority to apply the maximum fines. The heads of communal or ward police forces can apply a VND2.5m (USD110) fine. Nguyen Thanh Tung, a local in Ha Dong District, said the decree should be carried out gradually. The fines are high but the incomes of a majority of Vietnamese people are still low, he said.

Phan Van Son, a cyclo driver in Ha Ba Trung District, also thought that it would be difficult to implement the decree as police must need evidence to make people pay such high fines. The authorities need to install cameras. Meanwhile, another local from Bac Tu Liem District, said the decree needed to be more detailed.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said the decree aimed to raise people's awareness first and foremost. While the decree is full of good intentions, the devil remains in its actual implementation.

"In Singapore, people who litter public places will be fined, ordered to join community service programmes and publicly named," he said.

He went on to say that the authorities were carrying out more research to improve the decree.

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