Last week, Việt Nam News invites readers’ feedbacks on a new Government regulation on imposing heavy fines on those who litter in public places in a bid to keep the country clean. Here are some of the readers’ comments.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội
I think littering is evil. Not as bad as suicide, but it is exceedingly disrespectful, selfish and ignorant.
Many Vietnamese eat while riding their motorbike. They casually drop the wrapper. Each lake has fisherman and plastic garbage blown by the wind into the lake. Not cool.
Some classes at public school have garbage on the floor. That’s where to start the education programme. This will create generational change. Rich or poor, we all share the same air, water and food sources.
Hoàng Nguyễn, Vietnamese
I think it is high time to have heavy fines on those who throw rubbish in public places. The problem has existed for a long time and contributed to the increasing pollution in big cities. A heavy fine is necessary: it will act as a warning for people to not litter in public places.
However, it is not easy to enforce the regulation. To encourage people to not litter in public places, more dustbins need to be installed in these places, and we also need inspectors to keep eyes on things.
Apart from monetary fines, it is also a good idea to ask violators to do public services, such as cleaning the streets and planting trees.
One of the key factors hindering the country’s efforts is some peoples’ low awareness. So it is also important to have measures to raise public awareness of the issue. Teaching children at school on keeping the environment clean is an example. Pupils should clean classrooms and toilets and plant trees.
R.W (a reader who denied to publicise his name)
This is a good idea if you will approach it correctly.
First, trash bins should be on every corner of an intersection. If you don’t provide a place for people to throw their trash, you should not expect them to carry it around until they get home.
Second, police should not collect fines. If you allow police to collect money, then the door is open for bribery. Instead, they should issue tickets that the violator can pay at any convenience store, get a receipt, and return it to the policeman in order to redeem his keys or wallet. This same procedure should be instituted for traffic citations.
Third, the fine is too high. VNĐ4 million is sufficient. This money can be used to buy trash receptacles, give the police a raise so they don’t need to supplement their income with bribes and leave 5 per cent to the collectors to cover their expenses. There should be enough money to pay for collection of the trash on a regular schedule.
One way to know that Tết is approaching is to observe groups of policemen pulling over cars, trucks, and motorbike drivers for breaking laws. It is an obvious method to collect bribes and add money to the policeman’s pocket for Tết. If the police were paid enough, they would not need to take bribes, and Việt Nam could clean up the streets, reduce traffic violations and provide new and better ways to move the country into the 21st century.
If you really want to stop the smoking in public places, a similar method of collecting fines could be instituted, but it would be best if rewards were paid to anyone reporting smoking violations. While this would create a “Big Brother is Watching You” atmosphere, it would not be long before smoking in public stops and everyone is healthier.
Dan Davy, Canadian
Absolutely on board with this. It will work very well, provided that litter containers are made available on all streets.
A strong campaign--with enforcement--will improve the current situation very quickly. The key is consistent enforcement. It worked well and rapidly in Canada forty years ago, and today it is one of the cleanest countries in the world. — VNS