November 29, 2013
More than 500 open-air barbecues, which
Chinese state media says causes "serious air pollution," have been
destroyed by authorities in Beijing as part of an emergency program to
alleviate the city's often hazardous pollution. Citizens online
ridiculed the exercise, suggesting authorities should focus on bigger
sources of pollution.
Beijing is waging a war against air pollution, one barbecue at a time.
Authorities in the capital have destroyed more than 500 open-air
barbecues "to cut PM2.5" -- the tiny particulate matter in the air that
can enter deep into the lungs.
Photos carried by state media showed workers on Tuesday cutting pieces of metal with sparks flying as city wardens looked on.
Citizens online ridiculed the exercise, suggesting authorities should focus on bigger sources of pollution.
A media officer at Beijing's Xicheng district administration bureau said
the hundreds of barbecue grills were confiscated over a three-month
campaign and cut up so they couldn't be used again. She refused to give
her name, as is common with Chinese officials.
Environmental campaigner Ma Jun said residents had complained to
environmental agencies in the past about the odor and smoke from
"This action will help local residents, but to deal with the bigger air
quality problem we need to have priorities and I think one of the major
priorities should still be the motor vehicle emissions," said Ma,
director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. He said
the focus should be on improving the fuel quality and emissions control
of heavy duty diesel trucks, while also involving the surrounding
regions, not just Beijing.
The capital's pollution regularly reaches hazardous levels. The city
government announced last month that emergency measures such as factory
shutdowns and traffic limits would kick in when air pollution levels are particularly heavy.