The People’s Committee of Mỹ Đình 1 Ward in Hà Nội has decided to re-arrange the signposts and billboards along the sidewalks in the Đình Thôn Street.
As many as 200 steel red-painted pillars with the same size and height have been installed along the pavements to hang the advertising boards of local shops. All the advertising boards must be hung three metres from the ground. Their width must be 1.5m and the length depends on the front side of the stores.
Ngô Hùng Trường, vice chairman of the ward’s People’s Committee said local business households could choose their own colours and materials for their billboards, so they could show off their creativity and brands.
It seems the committee has learnt a lesson from the past. Two years ago, local media and the public were stirred up by a pilot scheme in Lê Trọng Tấn Street in Thanh Xuân District, where all shops had to hang similar advertising boards in red and blue colours.
The project failed as most businesses complained the boards made it difficult for customers to recognise their brand. The uniform boards were taken down after a short period.
However, now local residents have complained the sidewalks are too narrow to walk through.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh, resident in Đình Thôn Street said the road was only five metres wide, and many parts of the sidewalks were only 50cm wide. The red pillars have occupied a large area of the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.
Moreover, the use of both new advertising boards and old ones, which had already been installed on the front wall of the shops, has created a chaotic image for the street, she said.
Changes must be made to make the pilot project feasible and practical, or it could fail as it did in the past.
Dignity for the dead
An island commune in Vũng Tàu City, 100km from HCM City, has become known for using the same coffin for all its dead for years.
The only coffin in Long Sơn Island Commune is kept in the commune’s cultural house. Relatives of the dead must ask to borrow the coffin for rituals. After the dead are buried, the coffin must be returned.
Quản Thị Thanh, an elderly person in the commune, said recycling coffin would save money for the living.
However, Trần Bá Việt, head of the city’s Culture and Information Office, told vnexpress.net sharing the coffin could pose health risks for the alive and pollute the environment.
He said the office would ask the local health sector to encourage people to change the habit, though one has to suspect if they could afford more coffins, they would buy them.
Recycling is generally a good thing, but the dead deserve more dignity than this.
Wildlife crime doesn’t pay
Rangers from Hồng Lĩnh Mountain in central Hà Tĩnh Province have found roughly 300 traps scattered along a forest in the province
The traps, which were set every 10m, aimed to catch wild animals from the mountain. They were made from bicycle brake cables.
Nguyễn Xuân Mận, head of the Lộc Hà District’s Forest Protection Division said the traps were set in areas where wild animals such as monkeys, roebucks and weasels frequented.
Mận said the division had been informed about the traps by local residents, who found their buffaloes and cows trapped.
According to locals, whoever set the traps had to be a local resident.
Mận said the rangers are collecting evidence to arrest the culprit, who will be disappointed to have caught only common cows and buffaloes. Perhaps crime doesn’t pay. – VNS