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Govt vows to restore heating after accident

Updated: 2013-01-14 08:06
By Jin Haixing ( China Daily)

Beijing authorities have promised that heating will be restored for residents of Shijingshan district by Monday morning after an accident affected services.

The accident, the first big interruption of heating services this winter, was caused by broken pipes in the Gaojing Thermal Power Plant on Friday evening. The plant is responsible for providing heating to the western area of Beijing.

Beijing Heating Group, a State-owned company that runs the power plant, said it sent repair workers to check the pipes after receiving a call from a resident in the affected area around 1 am on Saturday.

More than 10,000 households were without heat on Saturday and Sunday, said Zhang Chuandong, head of the publicity office of the group.

Eight communities in Shijingshan lying near the burst pipes were affected the most, according to a worker at Beijing government's heating office.

After pumping the leaked water underground, the repair work on the broken pipes was completed around 8 am on Sunday, Zhang said.

The leak was first discovered near Jin'an Bridge in the district, a repair worker said.

The Gaojing plant began pumping hot water into the repaired pipes on Sunday morning, and the heating system in affected communities began to gradually resume later that afternoon, Zhang said.

A resident in Jindingjie No 5 Community who gave his name as Zhang said he received a notice on Saturday that the heating system had been suspended.

On Sunday, the temperature reached a low of -7 C, according to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau. Many residents in Zhang's community said they could bear the temperature because it was not cold as previous days.

However, families with elderly and sick people said they hoped the heating would be restored as soon as possible.

Wang Yaqin, 56, who lives in Moshikou Nanli Community, said the accident did not affect her community, but she was worried about her father, who had been without heat since Saturday.

Wang's father, who is in his 80s and has a respiratory disease, used an air conditioner to stay warm. His community is very close to Jin'an Bridge.

"In the past two days, I have been very anxious about my father being exposed to this cold weather. If he catches a cold in the winter without heating, it will be very bad for his health," Wang said on Sunday.

Heating services in Wang's father's community were restored at 6 pm on Sunday.

The heating company should monitor the pipes more closely, and the government should fine the company, which has received subsidies from the government, said Wang.