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Central environment authorities to open hotline for direct complaints
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People who have complaints about environmental pollution in China would have a direct way to inform the Ministry of Environmental Protection as the ministry opens a tip-off hotline on Friday, the International Environment Day.

The ministry said Thursday that the hotline, 010-12369, will take calls about emergency environment issues, cross-provincial pollution and other environmental issues that should be directly dealt with by the ministry.

If local environment authorities fail to solve existing environmental problems, people are also entitled to complain through this hotline, the ministry said. They can also receive status updates on the progress of their complaints.

For a country with fast economic growth and a large population, China is facing environmental pressure in its industry-heavy areas.

Formerly limited to the eastern coastal provinces, some factories are now being relocated to the western and northeastern areas, where labor and land are comparatively cheap.

In the past, local Chinese who suffered from environmental pollution used to petition the government by standing or sitting outside government office buildings.

The ministry said that its staff would receive phone calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday and that calls at other times would be automatically recorded by and be retrieved by its staff later.

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2009)

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