Plan Promises Great Beijing, Great Games

Leading engineers and experts in China will be engaged in a joint quest for key technological breakthroughs in the next few years to give Beijing's woeful urban pollution and traffic jams a complete overhaul in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Focus will be put on solutions for sandstorm defense, drainage, water conservation, clean energy supplies, intelligent public transport networks and management, as well as up-to-date digital applications to offer Internet access, virtual mock sports training sessions and anti-drug checks.

Athletes, visitors and residents in Beijing will be the biggest beneficiaries of the technological drive, the cornerstone of the Action Plan for a Scientific Olympics, which was initiated yesterday.

The strategic plan includes nine governmental departments involved in sports, science and education, top official think-tanks and the municipal government of Beijing.

Xu Guanhua, minister of Science and Technology in charge of the plan, asked the top-notch experts yesterday to submit their initiatives by the end of next month when they can be followed by debates and feasibility studies.

A panel made up of authorities in the fields of science, technology, sports, the arts and management will be formed in the next few months to evaluate the initiatives before they are acted upon.

"Technology renovation will be the key force behind the preparations for the 2008 Olympics. The launch of the plan will help produce up-to-date solutions to the major problems concerning the Games," said Xu.

Beijing has been noted abroad for its urban pollution, including murkiness, smog, sandstorms and exhaust emissions.

There is also concern over the capital city's heavy traffic congestion, opaque transportation controls and its insufficiently developed public transportation network.

But Lin Wenyi, vice-mayor of Beijing, said that the city will pump the bulk of its financial budget in the next seven years into infrastructure upgrades, environmental clean-up and protection of culture relics.

More than 180 billion yuan (US$21.7 billion) will be poured into utilities projects including the improvement of the public transport network, urban landscaping and the removal of shabby neighborhoods, while over 46 billion yuan (US$5.5 billion) will be designated for environmental cleanup over the next few years.

Wang Dingzuo, vice-director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the action plan should also tackle the chronic issue of water shortage, an acute problem facing the over 12 million people who live in the city.

Wang said the engineer pool of his institute can be tapped for the research. The central government has given the institute the responsibility for the study of China's water resources and related problems.

(China Daily 07/28/2001)

In This Series

700 Environmental Polluters Shut Down



Olympiad 2008 Beijing

Web Link