|Hang Buom Street in Ha Noi's Old Quarter. Under a plan set up by the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, seven public toilets in the area will be upgraded to serve tourists and local residents.—VNS Photo Doan Tung
HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi plans to upgrade seven public toilets in the city's Old Quarter on a trial basis to serve tourists and local residents.
The municipal People's Committee has asked the Ha Noi Urban Environment Company to upgrade the facilities, including those located in Phung Hung, Hang Giay, Gia Ngu and Hang Khay streets.
This follows a proposal from the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The toilets will be upgraded to comply with hygiene standards set by the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism. They will be made clean, equipped with essential facilities and provided with clean water around the clock.
Each toilet will have a minimum area of 2.5sq.m and a minimum height of 2.5m.
The city's Old Quarter has 16 public toilets. However many of them are so dilapidated and dirty that they operate only between 7am to 5pm. A few of them have facilities for people with disabilities.
Hoang Ngoc Linh from Cau Giay District said she felt uncomfortable using public toilets in the Old Quarter.
"They are not clean enough and the toilets are full of the smell of urine," she said.
However, public toilets around Hoan Kiem lake were fine, she added.
An official from the municipal Department of Sports, Culture and Tourism admitted that public toilets in the Old Quarter failed to satisfy demand, particularly from tourists, in terms of both quantity and quality.
Lack of land and finance and slack management were partly to blame for the problem, he said.
The city will also upgrade public toilets in other districts and suburban districts.
Under a plan set by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, all tourism sites in all localities will have standard public toilets for tourists by 2014.—VNS