China announces emergency pollution measures

Beijing will take more cars off the streets and slash production at over 220 factories if air quality plunges significantly during the Olympics, Reuters reported a slew of new emergency measures as saying.

The plan would be carried out if air quality was forecast to be short of acceptable standards for the upcoming 48 hours due to "extremely
unfavourable weather conditions", the reported quoted the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying.

Beijing has already cleared half of the city’s 3.3 million car users from the streets by restricting vehicles with odd or even license
plate numbers on alternate days. But under the emergency plan, the system would be extended to the city of Tianjin and four areas of
neighbouring Hebei province. In Beijing, cars where the license plate’s last digit matches the last number of the date would be

A total of 105 electronic, chemical, furniture and construction material factories in Beijing would suspend or reduce production, it
said. Around 100 plants and factories in Tianjin and Hebei would also be affected.

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