China shuts down polluting firms

Beijing, October 5 :

China has shut down 213 polluting factories in the last three years to check industrial pollution, said a statement from the State Environmental Protection Administration here today.

Another 873 polluting factories in the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were shut down pending renovation, according to the administration. “The total investment in renovation and construction of environmental protection facilities is about $181 million,” the administration said.

The statement said the three-year campaign, intended to reduce industrial pollution in the four provinces and regions, has affected 1086 factories. As many as 409 out of the 873 factories ordered to carry out reconstruction work have now resumed production after clearing government scrutiny. The others, having failed to pass the scrutiny, continue to be closed down.

The administration is urging local governments to step up supervision of the factories, saying that negligence has resulted in excessive industrial pollution.

It said that 40 government employees, who were involved in various industrial pollution cases, received punitive actions during the campaign. While two were removed from their posts, two others continue to be under judicial investigation.