Shen­zhen re­stroom users face fines for poor aim

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

Fail­ure to aim prop­erly will see users of pub­lic toi­lets in a south­ern city tar­geted with fines from Septem­ber.

The reg­u­la­tion in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, which has been ap­proved by the city govern­ment and takes ef­fect on Sept 1, stip­u­lates that im­proper be­hav­ior, such as paint­ing and en­grav­ing on walls, spit­ting, lit­ter­ing and smok­ing, will in­vite a fine of 100 yuan ($16.30).

The reg­u­la­tion also tar­gets those who aim poorly when uri­nat­ing or defe­cat­ing.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the reg­u­la­tion has sparked in­tense de­bate, and many res­i­dents ex­pressed doubt about just how ex­actly the reg­u­la­tion will be en­forced.

“This clause is ridicu­lous,” said Gao Qiao, 24, a univer­sity stu­dent in Shen­zhen. “How will peo­ple, who drafted the reg­u­la­tion, en­force it? And if you are not able to im­ple­ment this rule, how can it meet its goal?”

A Sina Weibo user in Shen­zhen, who goes un­der the name Qiaon­in­abenyang, also ex­pressed doubts.

“It is in­evitable that peo­ple will make some un­in­ten­tional er­ror when us­ing the toi­let. A lit­tle spillage out­side the bowl doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean the per­son in­tended to make trou­ble.

“It is bi­ol­ogy. No­body prac­tices a de­tailed pro­ce­dure for uri­nat­ing.”

Zhu Rui, a tourist from Chengdu in Sichuan prov­ince, said: “I think most parts of the reg­u­la­tion are un­der­stand­able.

“But it is to­tally im­pos­si­ble to en­force it un­less you place some­one in the re­stroom to mon­i­tor those who use it, which is weird and un­ac­cept­able.”

Li Zhiy­ong, a Shen­zhen lawyer, told Guangzhou Daily that pub­lic re­strooms are a place where peo­ple have, and ex­pect, pri­vacy so it is com­pletely un­re­al­is­tic for law en­force­ment of­fi­cers to check whether a per­son is vi­o­lat­ing the reg­u­la­tion.

“In­stead of re­sort­ing to reg­u­la­tory means, the govern­ment can pro­mote pub­lic aware­ness on ‘toi­let man­ners’.”

Gao and Zhu sug­gested that au­thor­i­ties should shift pri­or­ity and un­veil more toi­let fa­cil­i­ties for the pub­lic to com­bat a huge short­age.

The govern­ment is fully aware about com­plaints con­cern­ing the dif­fi­culty in find­ing pub­lic toi­lets, lo­cal of­fi­cials said.

But the reg­u­la­tion ad­dresses this to some ex­tent, they added.

It wants ur­ban man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties to sign con­tracts with so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions or busi­nesses to in­vest in toi­let fa­cil­i­ties.

It also urges ur­ban plan­ning and con­struc­tion de­part­ments to build more re­strooms in pub­lic places and govern­ment build­ings. Chen Wenli in Shen­zhen con­trib­uted to this story.

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