Beijing will take a series of measures to reduce the emission of air pollutants for 15 days to guarantee blue skies for the military parade on Sept 3.
From Aug 20 to Sept 3, the city will ban almost half of vehicles from the roads based on even-and odd-numbered license plates, and 80 per cent of government and public institute vehicles will be taken off the road, Rong Jun, spokesman for the municipal traffic committee, said on Monday.
But electric vehicles and such vehicles as buses, taxies and ambulances will not be restricted, he added.
Other major sources of air pollution will be restricted as well, including over 1,300 construction sites, said Zhao Shugang, head of construction dust control under the municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Additional industrial suspensions will include petrochemicals, construction materials, industrial painting, printing and furniture making, said the Beijing Commission of Economy and Information Technology.
The restrictions will start on Aug 20 because of the 2015 IAAF World Champion-ships, an athletic event that will run from Aug 22 to 30, and they will improve air quality when Beijing stages a military parade to mark the 70th
anniversary of the end of World War II on Sept 3.
"These efforts have followed the effective measures taken during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in November and the Olympic Games in 2008," said Yu Jianhua, chief engineer of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
Besides the short-term restrictions on pollutants, Beijing will stick to its annual plan to improve air quality, said Yu, adding that neighbouring areas will take similar steps to control emissions during the period.
The central government has also pushed forward reduction efforts in the region with more subsidies.
This year, 11 provinces and municipalities received 10.6 billion yuan (S$2.35 billion) from the central government to curb air pollution, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Monday.
In addition, the ministry plans to add more pollutants to the national major pollutants index in the coming 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).
Measures to be taken to improve air quality
1. Transportation in Beijing: Vehicles will be banned from the roads every other day based on their odd and even plates, and 80 per cent of vehicles from government and institutes will be taken off the roads. Pure electric vehicles, ambulances, firetrucks and other vehicles for urban services will not be included.
2. Major companies in polluting industries in Beijing: The major companies in some polluting industries－petrochemical, construction materials, industrial painting, printing and furniture making－will suspend production to reduce pollutants.
3. Construction sites in Beijing: The approximately 1,300 construction sites will not be allowed to carry out demolitions or other work that would generate dust.
4. Regional controls for better air quality: Tianjin municipality, as well as Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi and Henan provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, will also restrict vehicles, polluting companies and construction sites.
5. Air pollution supervision in Beijing: The Environmental Protection Bureau will conduct two rounds of mid-and long-term forecasts of air quality before Aug 20 to provide a scientific basis for the measures to control emissions. The environmental supervision teams in Beijing will conduct stronger monitoring of all sources of pollutants－vehicles, polluting companies and construction sites.
6. Flights in Beijing: Beijing Capital International Airport and Nanyuan Airport will shut down from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Sept 3, so no arrival or departure flights will be allowed during those three hours.