All public toilets in the city will be free of charge from this year, and new toilets will be built to meet the needs of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Ma Yun'an, chief of Shanghai's urban management bureau, said on the Internet yesterday that the bureau is increasing the speed of its public toilet construction and renovation for the expo.
The city has more than 5,200 public toilets in both downtown and suburban areas, enough to meet current needs.
But to meet increasing demand during the expo, the city decided to establish more free public toilets, and listed it as one of the "10 practical programs" in the city.
Three districts, Changning, Jing'an and Minhang, were selected as pilot districts for public toilet renovation; the trial was deemed satisfactory by the local government.
Apart from renovating some existing public toilets, the city plans to build 211 new ones this year.
Another 302 new public toilets, as well as a batch of mobile public toilets, will be built around the expo area to meet residents' and visitors' "urgent need".
"To offer free public toilets is only part of the whole work. It is also important to improve the service in public service," Ma said. "Some of the toilets will offer medicine and sewing kits."
People have been asking the authorities to provide more free toilets in public places and want them to be better sanitized.
Some netizens said the public toilet outside the Shanghai railway station, costing 1 yuan per visit, could earn 100 million yuan a year but is not well sanitized.
Source: China Daily