One year after the campaign ‘Civilized lifestyle in the city’ was launched in HCM City, the environment of the city still remains much the same with many streets being littered or encroached on by stores and peddlers. More than 40 representatives of agencies, organizations and research organizations in the city took part in a talk held by Sai Gon Giai Phong to find measures to help boost the campaign.
|Hawkers encroach on the pavement of September 23 Park, near the city center|
Also attending the talk were the chairwoman of the City’s People’s Council, Pham Phuong Thao and the deputy Chairwoman of the City’s People’s Committee, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha. SGGP’s editor-in-chief, Tran The Tuyen,who chaired the meeting.
Mr. Le Hieu Dang, deputy chairman of the HCMC Fatherland Front Committee, said that it is advisable to prioritize measures against pavement encroachment, hawkers’ waste water from cooking and houses and litter dropping. Since it is not easy to eliminate pavement encroachment, Mr. Dang said that relevant authorities should first restore order on a number of large streets in the city.
Clearing streets of public annoyances and nuisances should be made public through the mass media so that every citizen can follow developments.
District and ward authorities, where encroachments commonly occur on streets, will be responsible to the city’s People’s Council and public opinion for any shortcomings arising during the program’s implementation, added Mr. Dang.
The HCMC FFC vice chairman also said that relevant authorities should find effective propaganda measures to raise the awareness of the importance of a civilized lifestyle in a city. People should understand that littering, spitting and urinating in public places is unacceptable and the guilty will be fined.
Le Tan Tai, Party Committee Secretary and chairman of District 6 People’s Committee, emphasized that pupils and students should be educated in civic responsibility for keeping public hygiene and order in the city. And any adult who is seen violating urban regulations will face appropriate administrative fines.
Dr. Nguyen Huu Nguyen, of HCMC Institute for Development Studies, said that to carry out the campaign effectively, city authorities should periodically make public its plans, as well as its achievements via mass media to attract the attention of city people.
If city dwellers find that the campaign brings benefits to their daily lives, they will join hands with the city government to make it work more effectively, added Nguyen.
Sharing the same view with Dr. Nguyen, Dr. Nguyen Duc Nghia, deputy director of the HCMC National University, pointed out that the campaign has so far failed to attract the attention of the city’s citizens.
He said that if local authorities regularly organize events to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of a civilized lifestyle in the city to promote the campaign, it will work well.
The director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training, Huynh Cong Minh, announced that in the 2009 academic year, schools in the city will incorporate ‘Living a civilized lifestyle’ into curricula. This is seen as an effective measure to educate younger people on the importance of protecting the living environment and urban scenery.
Phan Quoc Thai, general director of International Real Estate Co., proposed that more public toilets should be built and more dustbins installed in public places to ensure public hygiene. If the city government does not have enough funds for them, they can call for investment from foreign investors or the private sector.
Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, announced that in the first six months of the year, the city will build 170 public toilets at petrol stations and install 4,000 dustbins, mainly in districts 1, 3 and 10 under a pilot scheme.
Aside from appealing to city residents to work with relevant authorities to find violators of civilized lifestyle regulations, surveillance cameras will be installed at appropriate public places to not only to ensure environmental hygiene but also traffic safety.