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Beijing's new air pollution steps get poor reception

Published on Jan 22, 2013 1:38 PM
 
The Forbidden City on a heavy haze day in central Beijing on Jan 13, 2013. New plans to reduce air pollution in Beijing fell flat on Tuesday, judging by initial online reaction, as the capital's mayor unveiled measures to ease the chronic problem that has triggered growing public anger. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - New plans to reduce air pollution in Beijing fell flat on Tuesday, judging by initial online reaction, as the capital's mayor unveiled measures to ease the chronic problem that has triggered growing public anger.

The smoggy metropolis' already notorious air pollution hit a record earlier this month, with pollution 30-45 times above recommended safety levels, blanketing Beijing in a thick, noxious cloud that grounded flights and forced people indoors.

The issue has caused widespread public outrage, alarming the ruling Communist Party which values stability above all else, and has so far failed to rein in pollution despite repeated pledges to get tough.

Speaking at the opening of the annual session of the city's legislature, Beijing mayor Wang Anshun said the government would take 180,000 old vehicles off the road this year and control the "excessive" growth of new car sales.

 
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