OLYMPICS / Olympic Nation

Beijing municipal govt: Olympic preparations in place

Updated: 2008-08-04 20:46


BEIJING--From power supply to traffic service to air quality and food safety, Beijing is ready for the Olympic Games in all aspects, according to the city government on Friday.

The capital was fully prepared in energy and water supply, transport services, air-quality control, public hygiene, health services, commodity supplies, hotel booking, tourism services and entertainment, said Liu Zhi, the city government spokesman, at a press conference in the 2008 Beijing International Media Center.

"Besides these, we have a strong backup from Beijing residents. Many of them have greatly contributed to the Olympics preparatory work," he said, adding many locals had picked up English, learned foreign etiquette and applied to be volunteers.

"After seven years of hard work, Beijing is opening its arms," he said.


Liu said the city was able to ensure a safe and stable supply of energy and water during the Olympics.

The city's power grid with a capacity of 50.12 million kva is fully capable of dealing with the estimated maximum electricity consumption of 14.6 million kilowatts this summer.

Beijing's tap water plants were able to provide 2.95 million cubic meters daily. They could meet the daily demand of 2.4 million cubic meters and the additional 340,000 cubic meters during the Games, he said.


"We are confident of providing top-level transport services for the Olympics. We are also trying our best to minimize the inconvenience caused by the Games in common people's life," Liu said.

Through opening new lines and putting more buses into operation, the city's public traffic capacity has been raised by 5 million passengers daily.

Beijing opened 34 new bus routes linking the Olympic core area to the rest of the city and three new subway lines.

The even-odd ban on vehicles based on license plate numbers and the policy to encourage flexible working time had greatly reduced traffic jams, said Zhou Zhengyu, the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications deputy director, at the same press conference. He said the downtown area with its higher density of population still faced congestion in peak hours.

A new airport terminal building, a new railway station and the world's fast railway between Beijing and co-host city Tianjin facilitated the travel of visitors from other countries and other regions in the country.

Although concerns about air quality here were lingering, the city had made every effort to control pollution.

"Car restrictions and other pollution-reduction measures are paying off, and the air quality in July has improved compared with last year. Traffic-related pollution had dropped significantly since July 20," said Du Shaozhong, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection deputy director, at the press conference.

Last month saw 26 registered days with fairly good air quality, three days more than in the corresponding period last year, according to data from 27 monitoring stations.

From July 28 to August 3, the city has reported seven consecutive days with excellent or fairly good air quality, including four excellent days.

A pollution level reading below 50 is classed "excellent," 51 to 100 "fairly good," 101 to 200 "slightly polluted," 201 to 300 "poor," and over 301 "hazardous."


To guarantee public hygiene, the city improved its monitoring networks of drinking water and food supply.

According to Liu, tap water has to meet 106 indices in quality checks. The foods served to the athletes was under surveillance from production to processing to distribution.

About 3,000 medical workers divided into 37 teams will stand by at all Olympic venues. In addition, 24 Olympic-contracted hospitals had opened "green passages" for Olympic guests with English-speaking staff.

"Hotel rooms for the Beijing Olympics are sufficient," said Xiong Yumei, the Beijing Tourism Administration deputy director, at the same press conference.

Beijing currently has 5,790 hotels with 665,000 beds. It has also promoted 598 Olympic homestay families whose residences are near the venues.

The city tourism department had provided 220,000 Beijing travel maps at the airport and set up 56 inquiry booths, Xiong added.

To offer vibrant night life, 969 shows will take place from August 8 to September 20, including concerts, operas, Peking Opera and dramas.

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