Congestion, air pollution earmarked as major challenges for Beijing
- POSTED: 17 Jan 2014 00:34
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Beijing plans to tighten its control on population numbers in its city centre. Congestion and worsening air pollution have been earmarked as major challenges for the Chinese capital as it unveils its 2014 work plans.
BEIJING: Beijing plans to tighten its control on population numbers in its city centre.
Congestion and worsening air pollution have been earmarked as major challenges for the Chinese capital as it unveils its 2014 work plans.
Air quality on Thursday was again at a hazardous level with the smoggy grey skies blanketing Beijing.
Last year alone, the capital suffered 189 polluted air days.
In 2014, the capital aims to reduce annual average air pollution level by 5 per cent.
Annual coal consumption will be reduced by 2.6 million tonnes. Coal burning boilers in the city centre must be replaced with electric ones while some 300 polluting enterprises will be closed down.
With China's rapid urbanisation, permanent resident numbers in Beijing have risen some 50 per cent while temporary residents have doubled over the last 10 years, putting pressure on infrastructure and resources such as hospitals and schools.
To ease congestion in the city centre, Beijing is working to develop new towns with better jobs and living environment to attract new urbanites.
These plans were announced in the capital's work report released on Thursday.
Managing social unrest has also gained importance, following the recent attack on Tiananmen Square, which China has labelled as a terror attack.
Beijing mayor Wang Anshun said: "We will strengthen the development of a ‘Safe Beijing’, incorporate counter-terrorism and riot prevention into our system for maintaining stability."
While the lack of appeal channels has often been criticised, Beijing said moving forward it will work to improve mechanisms such as mediation and legal aid to identify and resolve disputes at the community level.