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July 27, 2010

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Mobile beverage stalls on the Bund

AUTHORITIES yesterday agreed to provide more mobile beverage stalls on Shanghai's iconic Bund as demand for liquid refreshments on the Huangpu River promenade soars amid rising temperatures.

The stalls will be set up at the Chenyi Square and near the Bund Bull.

The Bund Management Office said that water will be sold for about 1 yuan (15 US cents) a bottle, with beverages being charged between 2 and 4 yuan.

The move comes after visitors complained about the difficulty in finding drinking water on the Bund, with few convenience stores along the waterfront area. Many visitors had requested that authorities set up drinking water fountains which have proven popular at the World Expo site.

A visitor surnamed Shi from Yixing, Jiangsu Province, said that he was rather fond of the "drinking fountains" at the Expo site, which are convenient for visitors.

But officials said since entry to the Bund is free, providing free drinking water facilities as well would be a costly affair.

"As far as we know, no company is willing to run such a high-cost, low-profit business," said Zhou Shunguo, an official with the office.

Zhou believed that the stalls will be adequate to meet visitors' demands. A trial run carried out on the platform near Nanjing Road E. saw "the queue in front of the stall was shorter than that at the Expo site."

Meanwhile, the office also rejected visitors' request for sunshades on the sightseeing platform, on grounds that the sunshades would come as unsafe extra pressure against the waterfront anti-flood walls.

Zhou said each foundation under the big umbrella would weigh 50-100 kilograms, and the shades were likely to be blown away as the wind is strong on the platform.


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