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Ban on melon and food stalls within Inner Ring Road

2009. 10 June

( The Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau issued a notice yesterday banning outdoor water melon stalls and night food stands within the Inner Ring Road area from now until late September. Violators can be fined up to 500 yuan (US$73).

All water melon stalls within the area must be indoors, such as in fruit stores, wet markets and supermarkets. Stalls outside the Inner Ring Road must be set up in places approved by the district governments and the bureau, officials said yesterday.

"Street water melon stalls and night food stalls are always one of the top complaints from local residents due to their noise, the rubbish they produce and the way they block traffic," said Liu Weiguang, an official from the public sanitation bureau. "Previously, it was the district government that oversaw these illegal stalls. But as we get close to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the city bureau decided to tighten up its rules and impose a complete ban within the Inner Ring Road."

Liu said the district bureau will help residents buy watermelons - the most popular fruit during summer - by working with the subdistrict government, "including setting up melon stalls in residential complexes."

Many melon vendors now sell their fruit off the back of a truck, so they can move fast if officials arrive and try to fine them. Officials said they will work with traffic police to catch them.

"We are discussing the penalties to impose on these people," Liu said. "Repeat violators and those soiling the environment are expected to have their driving license temporarily suspended."

The urban management authority fined 184,900 illegal stalls from January 2008 to April this year, netting a total of 9.35 million yuan.

The public sanitation bureau has also drafted rules on managing illegal street stalls near the Expo site and will launch public hearing late this year.

No stalls are allowed within 1,000 meters of the Expo site and key places in each district and in Chongming County, such as key streets, bridges, pedestrian overpasses and underground walkways.

Violators may have their stalls confiscated and be fined 500 yuan. The rule will take effect soon after the hearing and last throughout 2010.