Beijing smog
Vehicles travel on a bridge amid heavy smog in BeijingReuters

Authorities in China have vowed to scale up the battle on air pollution after smog blanketed a number of cities, including Beijing. On Monday (3 April), smog covered the capital and cities surrounding it, with some forced to issue an orange alert, the second highest after red.

Environmental inspectors have intensified pollution checks around the capital city. According to a Xinhua report, the Ministry of Environmental Protection have sent teams to Beijing, Tianjin as well as to other cities in neighboring Hebei and Henan provinces, to ensure air pollution policies are being actioned.

China Daily reported that the environmental watchdog reprimanded authorities in seven districts in Beijing, Tianjin and cities in Hebei, Shanxi provinces for poor smog control. They must now submit proposals of how to combat pollution to Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in 20 days.

According to inspectors, many companies in Tianjin and Baoding did not meet the necessary requirements for slashing pollutants and some vehicles in Beijing also failed to meet emission requirements.

The officials from northern province of Heibei said they would take more action to shut coal power plants and would promote new energy vehicles. The province is on the forefront of a three year long 'war on pollution' and vowed to shut inefficient industrial plants.

The aim of the 'war on pollution' initiative is to reverse the damage done to skies, water and soil following decades of emissions with no restrictions.