Beijing's air quality has come under intense
scrutiny since January last year, when heavy smog settled over the
city to the alarm of its residents.
Premier Li Keqiang in March promised a "war on pollution" as the
country seeks to stem public anger over premature deaths while
weaning the economy off over-dependence on energy-guzzling heavy
Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau handed out fines totalling
14.5 million yuan ($2.3 million) over the first four months of the
year, it told state media on Sunday.
"The amount is twice as high as for the same period last year," said
Zhong Chonglei, chief officer at the Bureau's supervision
China has introduced a range of policies and plans to solve
environmental problems but it has long struggled to bring big
polluting industries and growth-obsessed local governments to heel.
In March, Beijing for the first time took charge of supervising its
pollution levels. The city can hand out fines of up to 500,000 yuan
and can impose additional daily fines on wrong-doers who don't pay
up on time.
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Three-quarters of the fines handed out were for air pollution.
The Beijing Yueju Heating Company received the biggest fine of
200,000 yuan for manipulating emissions data for one of its
(Reporting by Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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