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Beijing Moves to Shut Down 2500 Polluting Firms, Will Delhi Learn From it?

Representational Picture of air pollution.

Representational Picture of air pollution.

Beijing and New Delhi, both capitals of Asia’s biggest neighbours and the most populated countries are facing similar fate though their culture and ruling styles differ. The life-threatening air pollution have shut down these cities during the Christmas weekend with highest pollution levels ever created.

While Delhi took upon the European cities model of Odd-Even vehicular policy allowing only odd or even numbered vehicles for the first 15 days of January, much to discomfort but willingness on the part of its commuters, Beijing has moved to permanently shut down 2,500 factories in 2016 for causing maximum air pollution.

The Fengtai, Fangshan, Tongzhou and Daxing districts in Bijing have already moved to shut down the identified factories by the end of this year, Delhi is toying with the idea of making odd-even policy a permanent fixture throughout the year.

While factories apart, Beijing’s blues include mushrooming restaurants, hotels, garages, and bath houses, which are increasing exponentially and posing a challenge to any steps to stem air pollution.

Vice Mayor Li Shixiang instructed risk assessment and comprehensive law enforcement in closure of small polluters, basically eliminating coal use in six downtown districts in two years and help 600,000 households shift from coal to clean energy in five years period.

Beijing is hoping to bring down its bouts of heavy smog incidents by reducing coal consumption by 500,000 tonnes in 2016 and close all coal-fired boilers throughout the city by 2020.

Beijing’s current air pollution is hovering on an average PM2.5 standing at 80.6 micrograms per cubic meter, 1.3 times more than the national standard. The particles per cubic meter rose by 75.9 per cent year-on-year in the period from November 15 to December 31, 2015, triggering its first ever red alert warranting emergency measures and repeating it two weeks later again.

Beijing has a four-tier warning system, red being the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue. Once the red alert is issued, closure of schools, construction work and implementation of odd and even number plate rule for all vehicles will follow.

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