Beijing economic planners have threatened to cut off power to the capital's hotels unless they implement a 20 percent reduction in consumption during peak periods, officials said Tuesday.
The Beijing government's development reform commission ordered the power reductions Monday, but tourist officials, representing the hotels, have come out strongly against the plan and are rallying opposition to it.
"Power cuts at hotels are not acceptable. The hotels reflect the image of a city," the director of the hotel department of Beijing Tourist Bureau told AFP.
"We are coordinating with several government departments against the plan. Several vice mayors have expressed support for us."
During the mayor's routine meeting Tuesday, a decision was made not to accept the plan by the reform commission, the director, who declined to be named, said.
Beijing hotels are usually packed with tour groups and businessmen during the busy summer season.
China is facing its biggest power shortage since the 1980s, with a shortfall of 30 million kilowatts caused by the rapid development of power-hungry industries, such as the auto and iron and steel sectors, as well as the fast pace of urbanization and a rise in living standards.
The hotels had been told to keep air conditioners no lower than 26 degrees centigrade, to turn them off in non-occupied rooms and refrain from doing laundry during peak periods of electricity demand, reports said.
According to the Beijing Daily Messenger, the unprecedented measures called for the automatic cut off of electricity at hotels who exceeded the 20 percent reduction in power required by the government during peak periods.
(CNTA.com June 30, 2004)