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China Daily Website

Pollution fee is unfair to tourists

Updated: 2012-08-07 18:43
( chinadaily.com.cn)

The Kunming municipal government in Yunnan province is reportedly considering levying a 10-yuan ($1.58) pollution fee per day on those checking in at any hotel in the six-county, 2,920-square-kilometer Dianchi Lake drainage basin. Local authorities are sending the right message the wrong way. It is fine to raise visitors' awareness of environmental protection. Yet it is unfair to make all visitors, about 40 million a year, pay for the pollution treatment, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

Statistics suggest the lake's pollution is caused mainly by the area's rising population, expanding industries and widespread use of fertilizers in nearby farmlands. The problem is not the fault of visitors. In addition, many visitors are not coming to see the lake.

The government has invested about 23.9 billion yuan in the past 15 years to treat the lake's pollution, which still gets worse every year.

Before pointing fingers at visitors, an important contributor to the local economy, the government should let the public know first how the previous money was spent, who the main polluters are, and why the treatment has failed for years.