Dust busters: Beijing to require cameras at construction sites for stricter smog policing

Municipal government zooms in on builders with latest anti-pollution measures

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 11:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 11:01am

Construction sites in Beijing will come under closer scrutiny as the municipal government seeks to determine how much they contribute to rampant smog.

Cameras will be installed to monitor the sites by the end of June and all construction firms must use “fully enclosed” vehicles to carry gravel, sand or soil starting on July 1, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Beijing’s housing and urban-rural development commission already introduced measures last week, such as requiring a dust-control fund to be set aside in an “officially appointed” bank account before a construction project begins, the report said.

The commission vowed to punish firms which use unsanctioned trucks or which continue construction on smoggy days.

In 2012, Beijing threatened six-month bans on project bids from companies whose construction sites emitted plenty of dust and which spilled construction materials.

The Communist Party this year declared a “war on smog” after persistent air pollution choked the capital and other cities since last year. Provinces and cities have been ordered to come up with initiatives to help solve the crisis.

In a major move at the weekend, the central government said it would order the closure of 1,725 small-scale mines nationwide, with a total capacity of 117 million tonnes, in a bid to cut down on air pollution.

Coal emissions contribute as much as 19 per cent of total emissions of toxic particulates.

However, China’s five-year energy plan still allows for the construction of an additional 860 million tonnes of new coal production capacity over the 2011-15 period.

With additional reporting from Reuters