Beijing plans to meet air quality standard by 2030

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​Beijing, March 28 (IANS) Beijing plans to meet the national air quality standard by 2030, according to a blueprint for the city's overall planning 2016-2030.

The blueprint was submitted to the standing committee of the municipal People's Congress for deliberation on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing, one of the world's most polluted city, aims to cut the concentration of hazardous fine particle matter PM 2.5 to 56 micrograms per cubic metre in 2020 and 35 micrograms per cubic metre in 2030, according to the document.

Authorities will use tough environmental standards to force industry upgrades and step up regional environmental inspections to tackle air pollution, said Wei Chenglin, head of the Beijing Municipal Planning and Land Resources Management Committee.

In 2016, the average density of PM 2.5 in Beijing was 73 micrograms per cubic metre, down 9.9 per cent from the previous year, official data showed.

Restricted by water resources, Beijing aims to cap its population at 23 million in 2020 and keep it at that level for the long term, said Wei.

The number of the city's permanent residents grew marginally by 0.1 per cent to 21.7 million in 2016.

Besides the restriction on population growth, the city plans to shrink the rural and urban construction land while expanding its ecological control area.

Meanwhile, the city seeks to tackle other "urban illnesses," including traffic jams, through more subways.

In 2020, the total length of the metro rail system in Beijing will reach 1,000 km, said Wei. At the end of 2016, the total metro rail length hit 574 km.

Beijing will give priority to the development of its public transport system and use it to steer city expansion, the official said.

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