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Hanoi records people littering downtown pedestrian zone

By Tat Dinh   May 4, 2019 | 12:03 am PT
Hanoi records people littering downtown pedestrian zone
Garbage, including food waste, plastic bags and bottles are left on pedestrian streets around the Hanoi's Sword Lake after the New Year’s Eve countdown on January 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Two fixed cameras and over 30 environment staff are recording footage of those littering pedestrian streets in Hanoi's iconic Sword Lake area.

The Hanoi Urban Environment Company (URENCO) and the central Hoan Kiem District are running a pilot project between April 26 – May 19 to record littering offenses.

While the two fixed CTTV cameras operate full time, over 30 staff will use their smartphones or the company’s mobile cameras.

"We will report the recorded violations by both locals and tourists case by case to the local police who will decide the follow up and punishment. In the case of businesses, we will build up a collection of videos and photos proving that they pollute the environment and submit the data to local authorities," said a URENCO representative.

The company has currently put up dozens of boards along the walking zone around the lake, telling pedestrians that littering in the area will be recorded. It warns that those caught littering will face fines of up to VND7 million ($300).

After the trial period, the company will assess the project and report the result to Hoan Kiem District authorities, who will decide whether to extend the action on a permanent basis.

The walking zone around the lake is activated from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. It first opened in September 2016 and was expanded two years later.

District authorities say the zone receives 20,000-25,000 visitors each day and the figure goes up to around 200,000 during holidays and festivals.

However, the pedestrian zone is badly trashed by the crowds that gather on the weekends, and it gets much worse on occasions when it is chosen as a venue for outdoor events.

URENCO said it has been collecting 200 tons of garbage each day from the walking zone.

Current laws in Vietnam regulate that a person can be fined between VND5-7 million for littering sidewalks, streets or the water drainage system. But fines are rarely issued.

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