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Shenyang sets up system to fight pollution
By Wu Yong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-08 21:45

The industrial city of Shenyang in Northeast China has created an environmental quick-response system.

Following a push to combat pollution, the Shenyang Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau has developed a multi-layered system to monitor air quality and clean up the environment.

The system includes upper air monitors, ground-patrols and factory inspections, said Chen Jianzhi, vice-director of the bureau.

"We can put everything in motion without stepping out of the supervision centre," he said.

The system includes four high-altitude monitors installed on buildings in the downtown area. Chen said these four high-tech sensors can cover most part of Shenyang and provide fairly clear visual images.

Besides these eyes in the sky, all five districts of Shenyang have been asked to set up their own environmental police team authorized to check on potential pollutants.

"We can react in time if the air in any area becomes abnormal," said Chen.

Amid ever-increasing demand to improve the environment, the local government is required to pay more attention to pollution supervision and control, said Shi Qijin, director of the bureau.

As a major base of heavy industry, Shenyang has long had the reputation of being seriously polluted. This reached a peak when Shenyang was listed as one of the world's 10 most polluted cities in the 1990s.

The local government has redoubled its efforts to clean up the environment since the beginning of the new millennium.

The local government has put around 2 billion yuan (US$240 million) into environmental cleaning and protection.

Moreover, local authorities have developed a set of measures to remove pollution, including reforming the heating system, enforcing automobile inspections and seeking international assistance in accordance with the nation's environmental protection law of 1996.

"The environment is vital for Shenyang's revival. We would pursue new ways of development but never trade it for temporary GDP growth as in the past," said Chen Zhenggao, mayor of Shenyang.

All this reached its peak this March when Shenyang put forward the nation's first regulation about community green space. It requires that all new residential communities should leave 30 per cent open for vegetation.

The local government is also boldly pushing forward a project to apply for national model garden city.

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