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Beijing bans fireworks in central area

By Yang Wanli | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-02 06:49

Beijing authorities have banned fireworks inside the city due to their effects on air pollution and the casualties caused by fireworks in recent years.

According to the regulation, passed on Friday by the standing committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, fireworks are banned within the Fifth Ring Road, and district authorities outside the Fifth Ring Road can set areas where fireworks are banned or restricted.

In restricted areas outside the Fifth Ring Road, fireworks are allowed only on the eve and the first day of the Lunar New Year, as well as from 7 am to midnight from the second day to the 15th day of the Lunar New Year.

National and municipal celebrations and holidays that require official fireworks displays will be approved and announced by the Beijing municipal government.

Previously, setting off fireworks within Beijing's Fifth Ring Road was allowed only at Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival.

"To prevent accidents, like fires and injuries, I support the ban. Although fireworks play an important role in China to celebrate weddings and festivals, there are other options, such as environmentally friendly fireworks, which contain no sulfur and produce less smoke," said Song Qi, an IT programmer in Beijing.

On Sina Weibo, a netizen named "Tutu" said that some residents living inside the Fifth Ring Road may feel sad about not seeing fireworks during the Spring Festival and suggested the government hold public fireworks shows.

"Policies can be put in place to make people who set off fireworks responsible for other's injuries. If people don't follow the rules, they should be harshly punished," Tutu said.

According to an official with the legal affairs office of the Beijing municipal government, dozens of people were injured or killed in fireworks-related accidents during the Lunar New Year periods between 2015 and 2017.

There was several days of heavy air pollution during the festival in each of the past five years, the official said.

In 2011, the capital's fire department banned fireworks within 60 meters of residential buildings of more than 10 stories and commercial buildings over 24 meters high during the Lantern Festival. It was the first time Beijing had implemented a fireworks ban since the city held the 2008 Olympic Games.

In 2013, firework celebrations were banned in Beijing during periods when serious air pollution was forecast.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

yangwanli@chinadaily.com.cn

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