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5.23m yuan public toilets at tourism site criticized

(Xinhua)

15:57, July 23, 2012

A POPULAR tourism attraction in southwest China's Sichuan Province will spend heavily to renovate four public restrooms despite widespread complaints.

One of four public restrooms at the Du Fu Thatched Cottage, also known as the former residence of prominent Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) poet Du Fu, in the provincial capital of Chengdu will receive renovations in compliance with "five-star" standards, while another three will be upgraded to "star-rated" status, a spokesman from the Du Fu museum said.

The total investment required for the project is estimated to be 5.23 million yuan (US$821,600), with 1.5 million yuan contributed by the city government and the rest raised by the museum, the city's development and reform commission said.

A preliminary design shows that the "five-star" bathroom will be designed to resemble an ancient courtyard, with more toilets for the disabled and elderly, a room for nursing mothers and a lounge equipped with chairs, a tea table, a TV set, a fish tank and Wi-Fi access. The "five-star" public toilet will have two full-time maintenance workers.

The spokesman said the "five-star" restroom can be used free of charge and the entrance fee for the tourism attraction will not be raised.

A poll on Weibo showed 90 percent of over 700 respondents oppose the renovations, seeing them as a waste of money, while 8 percent said the project will improve the urban environment and the public image of scenic areas.

"Being clean and bright is not enough for a toilet? A toilet is just a toilet," a netizen named "beicui" wrote.

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