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Beijing to set up environmental police for pollution

Beijing will set up environmental police force to crackdown on erring factories and step up its supervision and enforce accountability in 16 districts to tackle the recurring pollution problem

world Updated: Jan 07, 2017 21:39 IST
PTI
A boy wears a mask as he walks along road in Beijing on Thursday.
A boy wears a mask as he walks along road in Beijing on Thursday.(AFP Photo)

Beijing will set up environmental police force to crackdown on erring factories and step up its supervision and enforce accountability in 16 districts to tackle the recurring pollution problem, officials said on Saturday.

“Open-air barbecues, garbage incineration, biomass burning, dust from roads - these acts of non-compliance with regulations are actually the result of lax supervision and weak law enforcement,” said acting mayor Cai Qi at a meeting.

Beijing will strengthen environmental protection in 2017 by organising an environmental police force, Qi said.

His comments came as officials admitted public anger over the week-long pollution crisis in the city during which officials were criticised for issuing highest alerts to crackdown on the factories.

Earlier, the Beijing weather forecast bureau said that snow followed by blasts of cold wind will clean up the air this weekend, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Many parts of Beijing experienced snowfall today morning which is expected to last till night, bringing a bit of relief from the smog that has persisted since the last day of 2016.

The city witness slight snow but the smog continued to envelope the city.

Cai said city’s only coal-fired power plant will be closed after the heating season and coal consumption will be cut by 30 per cent to less than 7 million tonnes in 2017.

Another 300,000 high-polluting old vehicles will be phased out in 2017. Cleaner gas and diesel will be put into use starting February 15.

Additionally, 500 manufacturing and polluting factories will be closed, while another 2,560 will be upgraded to meet higher pollution treatment standards.

The smog has become north China’s biggest environmental issue in recent years, particularly in winter, when coal-fired heating boilers rev up and the wind weakens, the report said.

China has a four-tier colour-coded warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.