Image: A man walks over a bridge as smoke rises from chimneys of a thermal power plant in Shanghai February 23, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s smoggy capital will almost double the number of air monitoring stations to give a better idea about the true state of the city’s air quality, Xinhua state news agency said on Monday.
An extra 30 stations will be added to the 35 already in operation in places like schools, Zhang Dawei, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre, told Xinhua.
Beijing frequently features near the top of the list of China’s most polluted cities as emissions from vehicles and heavy industry combine with weather conditions to raise smog levels. The worst bouts of air pollution tend to coincide with periods of low wind.
“After the upgrade … we will have more data about the city’s air quality,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
It did not give a timeframe for when the new stations would come online.
For Beijing and its surroundings, the government has set a target for 2020 of reducing pollution by 40 percent from 2013 levels. A senior environment official said on Friday the city’s air quality has improved over the last two years.
The authorities have increased efforts to reduce air pollution in the wake of the city’s first “red alerts” in December last year, when hazardous smog engulfed the city.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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