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Shanghai's public toilets free by 2010
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All the city's public toilets will be free of charge by 2010, the city government announced yesterday at its weekly press conference.

Three districts, Changning, Jing'an and Minhang, have been testing the system.

"The trial has been satisfactory," said Chen Qiwei, the city government spokesman.

Chen said the city will renovate its public toilets and some of the toilets will offer medicine and sewing kits.

The city will place another 120 toilets downtown - one of the "10 practical programs" the city government announced for 2009, said Chen.

Each year, the city government selects 10 issues that matter most to people's life and maps out the "10 practical programs" to work on.

This year's programs include increasing the number of jobs available, training migrant workers, increasing the number of rest home beds for seniors and residential area restoration.

The city will create 500,000 jobs this year, including positions in governmental departments, to help solve employment problems in the current difficult economic conditions. There will be 100,000 new non-farming jobs for local farmers, Chen said.

More than 100,000 migrant workers will receive professional training, so that it will be easier for them to find work in Shanghai. The city will also improve the facilities at 50 schools, especially for migrant workers' children.

The government will provide subsidies for 12,600 seniors who live alone and need care, and will increase the number of canteens for seniors in downtown residential areas.

The city will also increase food information systems in the city's big wet markets.

"Consumers will be able to find information about where food was made, when it was inspected and its quarantine conditions," Chen said.

Also on agenda is restoration of old parks in preparation for the 2010 World Expo.

(Shanghai Daily January 9, 2009)

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