The air quality in Beijing has been hovering above the “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” levels since the beginning of this year and there has been mounting frustration with the government in China for not doing much about it. In response, the Chinese government has come up with a three-year, $16 billion plan to deal with the extreme pollution in Beijing, according the official newspaper China Daily. This pledge comes after pollution appeared as a major theme at the recent National Party Congress where China’s new leaders were confirmed.
The government is pledging to improve sewage disposal, waste management and air quality. The plan includes laying or upgrading 800 miles of sewage pipeline, building 47 water recycling plants and upgrading 20 sewage disposal plants, according to China Daily. The government also plans to build five new garbage incineration plants that will dispose of 70% of Beijing’s waste, which currently stands at 16,900 tons a day. The government intends to address the illegal building that has been rampant in Beijing as part of this three-year plan as well. Beijing Deputy Mayor Wang Wei tells China Daily that they will compile a list of illegal buildings for demolition next year.
China’s resolution to address pollution could not come a moment too soon as major pollution problems are surfacing in many Chinese cities. Just last month, thousands of dead pigs were found floating in one of Shanghai’s main water sources, posing serious danger of contamination to the city’s drinking water.