BEIJING: Beijing unveiled yet another slew of measures yesterday to curb a choking pollution problem, including limiting the number of new vehicles on the roads and closing or upgrading the facilities of 1,200 companies.
China’s smoggy capital has tried everything from shutting factories to a massive subway building programme as it battles a severe air pollution problem, but with little apparent effect.
The latest measures are part of a broader plan to reduce the Chinese capital’s density of harmful particles in the air by at least 25 percent by 2017.
“It’s a declaration of war against PM 2.5,” the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said in a statement on its website, referring to tiny particles in the air that pose the greatest risk to human health.
“The city will work relentlessly to improve air quality.”
In the newly unveiled measures, Beijing will place tougher restrictions on the number of new vehicles allowed on the roads each year, curbing annual growth to nearly zero.
The government aims to cap the number of vehicles in the city at six million by the end of 2017, compared with 5.35 million by the end of July, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Beijing also aims to reduce total vehicle fuel consumption by at least five percent from 2012, by promoting sale of new energy and small vehicles, and encouraging people to drive less frequently.
Beijing will also restrict the number of vehicles allowed in specific areas during certain times of the day, starting in 2014, it added.