Athletes to get cleaner air in Guangzhou

By Zhang Yuchen (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-17 07:52
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GUANGZHOU - Guangzhou is using a variety of high-tech measures to ensure air quality is up to scratch for the upcoming Asian Games.

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As of September 1, owners of large-sized vehicles, such as limousines, are ordered to use the highest national standard of gasoline, which pollutes less.

The city's environmental protection bureau has set up 29 checkpoints to monitor automobile emissions along with four mobile units. Since August 1, the bureau has also carried out checks on vehicles' emission control systems to make sure they are working correctly.

About 30 percent of the total 9,300 government cars and the city's police officers' cars will be off the road from October 12 to December 22, in order to decrease pollution emissions, said Li Zhuo, director of the motor pollution control office, Guangzhou environmental protection bureau.

Meanwhile, all construction sites in the city, except those with special authorization, will be asked to stop building from the end of September to the end of December, said Zhang Guangning, secretary of Guangzhou Party committee.

In November, the city usually registers its worst air quality due to the colder weather, which makes it more difficult to monitor pollution.

Jian Jianyang, director of the pollution control division at the environmental protection bureau, said factories that pollute excessively will have to limit their production during the Games and will not be allowed to return to normal production levels until December 20.

The highly-polluted capital of Guangdong province began to look into improving its air quality after it won its bid to host the 16th Asian Games in July 2004.

"It's not just an emergency package to limit the air pollution," said Jian. "It's a long-term measure and we see the Games as an opportunity to achieve it quicker."