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Public toilet deemed a throne fit for a king

05-18-2010 13:46 BJT

BEIJING, May 18 -- A public toilet that resembles a luxury apartment in Ji'nan, East China's Shandong Province, has local residents questioning whether taxpayer money could be better spent by the government.

The toilet in Huaiyin district is much more lavish than the dirty and smelly premises people usually associate with public lavatories. The toilet is 200 square meters large and equipped with state-of-the-art amenities.

When people walk into the new toilet, they hear gentle music and see a video of beautiful nature scenes playing from a plasma TV mounted on a wall.

The toilet is decorated with light yellow tiles, a large mirror, and a washbasin with a vase of fresh flowers, the local newspaper Ji'nan Times reported.

It seems that calls to nature are not the only reason for going to the toilet. This one has a hard wood floor, sofa, drinking fountain, tea table and an air conditioner that is worth more than 8,000 yuan ($1,171), the China News Service reported.

Two rest room attendants are responsible for daily cleaning of the toilet, which was constructed by the local environmental and hygiene bureau.

A spokesman for the bureau, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times Monday that the toilet construction project cost about 600,000 yuan ($87,859), including a refuse transfer station and a dormitory room next to the toilet where staff workers live.

"The toilet is built to the top level standard for public toilets. We built the toilet for the convenience of local residents because this area is a suburb of the city and there are not enough public toilets to meet people's needs," he said.

A local resident surnamed Wang took her grandson for a visit last Friday and said the public toilet is much better than her own at home.

"I think it is a good thing to open such toilets for people to use because it is a good public service," Wang told the Ji'nan Times.

Another resident surnamed Zhang disagreed.

"This is not the city center. Why spend so much money on building a toilet?" said Zhang. "It is much better to spend the money on building more roads and changing people's living conditions."

This is not the first luxury toilet in Ji'nan. In 2005, the city's environmental and hygiene department invested about 1 million yuan ($146,432) to build a toilet in the central district. Five years later, only one of the three water faucets is in good working order and both of the hand driers are broken, the Ji'nan Times reported.

(Source: Global Times)

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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