BEIJING, Dec 16 (APP): Beijing’s city government on Friday issued
red alert for pollution, closing schools and construction sites and restricting the number of cars and heavy vehicles on the road for
next five days.
Approved by the municipal government, the red alert would be activated at 8 pm Friday and is expected to be lifted on December 21, when the air quality in the city improves.
According to the local transportation administration commission, the “odd even” car restriction system, determined by the final digit of a vehicle’s license plate, will go into effect starting Friday night,
while additional public transportation will be arranged, with more buses running for longer.
The commission expects 500,000 more trips via ground public transportation for the duration of the red alert.
All 44 road construction and maintenance sites have been ordered
to halt work. Older and high polluting vehicles are strictly banned as more enforcement forces from environmental protection, transportation and urban management authorities have been dispatched to the streets for inspection.
The city’s education department also ordered all kindergartens,
primary schools and private training centers to suspend classes during the red alert, and gave middle schools flexibility to cancel classes if they consider it necessary.
According to an updated emergency response plan for severe air pollution, which was released in November and took effect on Thursday,
a red alert is issued if the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 500.
Four consecutive days of heavy air pollution (AQI reading surpassing 200), including two days of severe air pollution (AQI reading surpassing 300), can also activate a red alert.