Beijing will introduce vehicle-exhaust monitoring devices in a
bid to tackle the pollution that continues to plague the city.
The move is designed to strengthen controls on harmful emissions
from the capital's 2.6 million vehicles. They are believed to
contribute around half of the city's ozone pollution according to
the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection.
Bureau official Wang Dawei said ozone pollution which has
plagued many cities in developed countries since the 1950s had
recently become an increasingly severe problem in the Chinese
capital due to the huge rise in the number of cars.
"The exhaust-gas monitoring devices will be placed at several
key sections in urban areas, mainly along the second and third ring
roads," Wang told a news briefing yesterday. He added that drivers
with vehicles exceeding permitted emission standards would be
Wang added that the devices would also provide valuable
information on the overall levels of exhaust-gas pollution in
Beijing. He said this was a "fundamental" part of the city
gathering information on ozone pollution.
He warned that the pollution had the potential to pose a major
problem during the 2008
Beijing Olympics as strong summer sunshine would accelerate the
formation of photochemical smog which could be health damaging.
Besides placing monitoring devices on roads the city is
considering offering financial assistance to private car owners
whose vehicles produce significant fumes to purchase new cars which
meet the upgraded standards introduced in late 2005, said Pei
Chenghu, the bureau's deputy director.
Meanwhile, around 8,000 of the city's old taxis and 2,000 buses
will be required to have new technology installed that cuts back
It has been estimated that emissions from one old car are the
same as from 14 new vehicles which come up to the new
Apart from the vehicles the city will also take steps this year
to curb heavy pollution from around 200 plants in the power,
petrochemical, steel and sewage treatment sectors.
These plants, which account for 80 percent of the city's total
industrial pollution, will be equipped by the end of this year with
sophisticated monitors of their gas and water discharges. Pei
warned that the operation of any of these plants which exceeded the
discharge standards would be suspended or they could be closed.
These latest moves are part of a whole range of measures which
the city authorities have taken this year to tackle pollution.
Other steps include stricter supervision of construction sites and
the expanded use of low-sulphur coal.
The city has pledged that at least 238 days this year should
meet good or excellent air quality standards.
(China Daily March 17, 2006)