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China Focus:China fights air pollution as smog persists

English.news.cn   2014-02-23 19:14:42

An old man wearing facial mask walks at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 22, 2014. Thick smog shrouding Beijing and its surrounding areas becomes heavier as the capital has raised its four-tiered alert system to "orange". (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

Photos >> Thick smog shrouds Beijing

Photos >> Smog to continues to shroud north, central China

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China is taking measures to control air pollution, including limiting vehicles on the road and suspending factory production, as smog persisted in many areas for days.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert for smog on Sunday morning, the fourth straight day such an alert has been announced.

North China's Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, went on orange alert for smog, the second highest, early Sunday morning, and an emergency response initiated.

The emergency response cuts private vehicles in use by 20 percent based on the last digit of the license plate. Vehicles with last plate digit of 1 or 6 must be off the road in urban areas on Sunday.

Several steel makers and related enterprises in five cities of Hebei were closed on Sunday morning.

In Hebei, China's top steel producer, overcapacity has become the province's major concern in tackling pollution. The latest move reduced iron production capacity and steelmaking capacity by 6.71 million and 1.49 million tonnes respectively.

Beijing went on orange alert on Friday for the first time. Manufacturing plants in the city have suspended or cut production, building work is halted, and no barbecues are allowed.

Thirty-six enterprises have suspended production, another 75 reduced their output since Friday,according to Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

At a construction site on the north side of Xinhua East Road in Tongzhou District in Beijing, construction work has been suspended since Friday. Reporters could see no trucks with construction waste or bare earth at the site.

A worker said work had been halted after receiving the smog alert.

Barbecue stands near Beijing's Minzu University of China were advised to close by staff from the Beijing municipal bureau of environment protection, according to a vendor.

The city's road sweepers have also extended their working hours and frequencies since Thursday.

"Besides road sweeping, we've also increased road spraying and cleaning work." said Liu Yi, a driver of a sprinkler.

Zhang Zengshou, general manager of Beijing Jinyu Concrete said the company had suspended production at two plants.

"The capacity of the suspended works both exceed 1.5 million cubic meters. They are the main production stations of our company, but we have followed the city's regulation and shut them down," Zhang said.

Physical education classes, outdoor exercise and sports meets at kindergartens, primary and high schools have also been called off.

Neighboring Tianjin Municipality has issued a yellow alert for the third consecutive day, suspending earthwork at construction sites and increasing road spraying.

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Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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