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Subway snackers to pay fine in Nanjing
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Passengers who eat or drink on the subway will be fined 20 yuan (US$2.9) to 100 yuan starting next year in Nanjing City, capital of Jiangsu Province.

The regulation was made to keep stations and trains clean, Yangtze Evening News reported.

The regulation also forbids smoking in all Metro stations in the city.

Passengers violating the rule will be warned or even fined, the report said.

Some regular passengers complained about others eating on the subway as the space was enclosed and food smells could make people uncomfortable, according to the report.

The newspaper found seven passengers taking their breakfast into a station during a spot visit yesterday morning. Three even took the food onto a subway train.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Metro operators said eating is not forbidden on subway trains in the city and the company doesn't plan to follow Nanjing's new practice.

However, some Metro workers told Shanghai Daily that it would be better if passengers didn't eat or drink on trains, especially during rush hours.

"Sometimes drinks are spilled, the smell of the food is spread inside the carriage and stains are accidentally left on other passengers. These are all disturbing problems," said a Metro worker.

The Nanjing Metro Operation Company said eating and drinking on Metro trains have always been banned but that it didn't have the right to enforce the regulation in the past.

A new department will be set up in the company to enforce the regulation with the authorization of the Nanjing Construction Commission, according to the report.

Sealed food and beverages are allowed on metro trains but passengers can not consume them during the trip, the company said. Only water is permitted to be consumed on trains, the report said.

A company official said trains are only cleaned when they reach the terminal stop. Cleaners collect about 3 tons of waste every day from the city's subway trains, the report said.

(Shanghai Daily November 26, 2008)

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