In a race to control and manage its worst yet smog pollution for the year 2013, China's lawmakers have targeted to slash the number of vehicles and close down factories during polluted days, as well as bar outdoor barbecue rituals. Residents however remained indifferent with the measures.
In a race to control and manage its worst yet smog pollution for the year 2013, China's lawmakers have targeted to slash the number of vehicles and close down factories during polluted days, as well as bar outdoor barbecue rituals. Residents, however, remain indifferent to the measures.
Over the weekend, the government of the capital city of Beijing posted on its Web site a proposed Air Pollution Control Regulation scheme where drivers would be penalised as much as $482 if their vehicles are found surpassing emissions limits. The new rules likewise stated that construction of new cement and steel plants are also barred.
"It's more transparent (than the legislation introduced in 2000) and focuses more on public concerns, which shows the government has attached more importance to the voice of the people," Feng Yongfeng, founder of Green Beagle, said on Sunday at China Daily. "Gauging public opinion will help tackle the problem."
"The draft law it is really trying to tackle the issue in a proactive way, trying to tackle the pollution at its source," Ma Jun, a prominent environmentalist in Beijing and author of China's Water Crisis, told CNN.
Last week, pollution levels in Beijing reached record-breaking numbers, far more above the allowable limit imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Official measures of PM2.5 rose to as high as 993 microgrammes per cubic meter in Beijing on Jan 12, 40 times over the criteria set by the WHO which is no more than 25.
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But residents are not impressed with the new measures.
"I can't go to school by bus or taxi if my car is ordered off the road," 20-year-old Huang Jing told China Daily.
"The bus takes too much time, and everyone knows how hard it is to get a taxi," he said. "I look forward to a more specific explanation."
While the draft proposal in all likelihood aims for a noble goal, without proper execution and monitoring, residents highly believe everything remains a lip service.
"What I am most concerned about is the enforcement. If the draft is passed but without enforcement, it still will not work," resident Liu Xiaohang said.
The public has been given until Feb. 8 to comment on the draft measure.
China Fights Worst Smog Pollution
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