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
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.