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Environmental officials view removing high-polluting cars as challenging task

07-06-2010 14:20 BJT

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhaunet) -- Despite news that Beijing has already removed around 25,000 high-polluting cars from city streets this year, environmental officials claim they are under pressure to finish the year-end target of 40,000 cars.

(Source: China Daily)
(Source: China Daily)

Under the current regulation, owners of high-polluting vehicles can receive compensation of up to 22,000 yuan for giving up their old cars. However, since the compensation is too low to make much of a difference, many car owners, especially those who drive trucks, are reluctant to make the move.

According to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, as many as 24,833 high-polluting cars had been removed from the streets by the end of June. The government has spent 55.71 million yuan, by providing cash relief to owners of the vehicles.

A high-polluting vehicle can emit 20 times the quantity of pollutants compared to a conventional car. Beijing municipal government successfully removed 106,000 high-polluting cars in 2009 with the help of the cash-relief policy, contributing to a reduction of 25 percent of the total car emissions in the city.

"But the cash-relief policy can only be used as an encouragement. The money we offer doesn't equal the true value of the cars," Li Kunsheng, director of the vehicle emission management division of the bureau, told METRO on Monday, noting that the 2010 target will be very challenging.

Li said giving up high-polluting cars is not compulsory in Beijing.

"Some car owners prefer to run the risk of being fined 100 yuan when caught," he said, adding those cars are allowed to operate outside the Sixth Ring Road in the city.

According to the bureau, around 70,000 high-polluting cars are still running in Beijing. For districts' environmental protection bureaus, strengthening law enforcement and reinforcing publicity are their main plans.

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