Beijing boosts anti-smog battle

( ) Updated: 2014-02-24 12:31:57

Beijing boosts anti-smog battle

Babies receive treatment at a hospital in Beijing on Friday. The number of patients, especially newborns, with respiratory illnesses has increased in recent days, as local authorities have issued warnings for "heavy air pollution". Feng Yongbin / China Daily

Intense pollution in the capital prompts government to restrict vehicle use, suspend manufacturing plants, and asks Party members to play bigger role in green movement.

Beijing authorities have ordered government workers to tightly restrict vehicles use due to the capital's intense smog, and have asked members of Communist People's Party to lead the green movement.

The city of more than 20 million people has been enveloped in heavy smog since Feb 20, with an orange alert issued on Feb 21. The forecasting authority on Monday predicted the pollution will not ease until Thursday when a cold front is expected to bring wind.

The Beijing Public Emergency Committee and Beijing Air Heavy Pollution Emergency Headquarters jointly issued a notice on Sunday, demanding all Party and political institutions postpone meetings and limit vehicle use.

Party members and cadres must lead the green movement and go conduct themselves in an environmentally friendly manner, according to the notice.

Manufacturing plants in the city have suspended or cut production, construction work has been halted, and no barbecues are allowed.

According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, almost all of north, east and central China are suffering. Beijing and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan and Liaoning have reported severe smog.

The ministry said on Sunday it had sent 12 inspection teams to Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas to check the response to the pollution.

According to the ministry, the teams will review local governments' response to the pollution and their implementation of September's central government action plan.

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