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Tough action promised to help clean up city's environment

GOVERNMENT authorities will take tougher legal action to help improve the city's expressways and clean up the visual environment with the introduction of nine regulations earlier this month.

The regulations contain specific penalties for those who don't do enough to improve the condition of the city's environment. For example, private toll-road operators could lose their licences if they fail to maintain roads properly. The operators of some expressways have previously ignored orders by the highway administration to repair their roads.

The administration reviews road conditions every six months and will order operators to repair damaged road surfaces, said Dong Hui, an administration official.

The new regulation is part of the government's efforts to improve the condition of Shanghai's expressways, which have become notorious in recent years for being damaged and uneven.

The government is also cracking down on illegal advertising to improve the visual environment.

Officials said yesterday that 1,844 private phone numbers appearing on illegal fliers and advertising have been frozen this year under the new regulations.

Advertising will also be strictly regulated on public transport, with some types being banned.

The video-screen advertising in about 4,000 of Shanghai's 43,000 taxis will be phased out as contracts expire. Audio advertising on Metro trains will also be phased out.

Advertising on the exterior of buses will be strictly regulated for space and content.

Transport officials hope to have all public transport complying with the new regulations by May next year.

The government has already launched other schemes to improve the visual environment by cleaning waterways, moving street-level power lines underground and improving green areas along the sides of roads.


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