BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- China is considering to build two outdoor facilities to help research smog, the Beijing News reported on Sunday.
The plan to build atmospheric simulation chambers has been submitted to the economic planning body for approval, the newspaper quoted He Hong, a researcher in charge of the project's preparatory work, as saying.
The chambers, each with a volume of about 300 cubic meters, are part of a broader environment project to be built in Beijing's outer Huairou District, according to He, a researcher from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The academy submitted project plans to the National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning body, as early as 2010, but no approval was granted.
The whole project, which is estimated to cost 500 million yuan (81.4 million U.S. dollars), will be devoted to the research on the formation of smog and its control, according to He.
The project will be open to scientists worldwide for research purposes if approved, according to the newspaper.
Smog has been a major concern for the Chinese public since early 2013. Frequent bouts of smog have led to a reduction of industrial activities, raised pollution alerts and forced authorities to impose bans on vehicle use.