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Govt Unveils Measures To Ease Air Pollution In Beijing
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/1249489/1/.html
Source Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: China
Created: Jan 22, 2013

BEIJING : The mayor of China's capital Beijing has unveiled new measures to ease the chronic air pollution in the city.

This follows criticism earlier this month, when Beijing experienced a record level of pollution, at 30 to 45 times above recommended safety levels.

The aim of the measures is to cut the density of major air pollutants by 2 per cent, as well as improve the monitoring and release of public information on air quality.

In an effort to paint the skies blue again, 180,000 old vehicles will be taken off the roads this year.

The government is also promising to control the excessive growth of new car sales. About 250,000 new cars hit the roads of Beijing each year.

In other measures, the heating systems of 44,000 old homes and coal-burning boilers will be replaced with clean energy systems.

Beijing is under more pressure to speed up the construction of a green city, after its air pollution index hit a record high over a week ago.

This issue is also expected to be a focus at the upcoming National People's Congress to be held in March this year.

One Beijing resident said: "Every year the government says it has new measures to improve air quality but every time it is only talk without action. This leaves us very upset."

Another commented: "Perhaps there are too many social problems, let us solve them slowly. We should still have confidence."

A third noted: "There has to be a process as we develop from merely fighting for survival to learning to care about the environment. This cannot be rushed."

- CNA/ms
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