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March 2, 2010

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Beggars can't choose zone around Expo site

AUTHORITIES reiterated yesterday that beggars and unlicensed vendors will be banned from entering a restricted area for the coming Expo - 90 main roads and 25 tourism sites within 1,000 meters of the Expo site.

Cui Liping, deputy director of city's Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau, said yesterday that the bureau "will strengthen patrols along the key areas around the Expo."

However, it will be easier said than done during the 184-day event.

The city urban management teams will have to try to drive the beggars out of the key area instead of directly putting them under custody, something that's forbidden by laws and regulations.

The effort will become useless if beggars repeatedly come back, said Qian Shenshen, an official with the urban management office.

Officials will usually inform the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau if the ragpickers and beggars appear, while the urban management bureau has the right to fine unlicensed vendors or confiscate their goods.

To create a begging-free environment at the Expo site and downtown area, the city said it would help vagrants and beggars and provide accommodations for them. But it said it was still considering a specific plan.

Officials said they will provide help to beggars who voluntarily go to aid stations set up by the civil affairs bureau.

Last year, more than 30,000 vagrants and beggars received help from local authorities, said Zhang Xiaoquan, of the Shanghai Politics and Law Commission.

Vagrants and beggars could turn to the Shanghai Aiding Management Office for help, but they have to provide identity certificates and information about their families. Usually they would be sent back home.


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