Construction companies will be fined up to 200,000
yuan (US$25,000), seven times as much as previous penalties, if
they violate a new noise management regulation approved by the
Beijing municipal government.
Under the regulation, loud construction work should
not occur between 10 PM and 8 AM or during middle school or college
entrance examination days except for emergencies, the city's
environmental protection bureau said on Sunday.
The new regulation also bans street sellers from using
loudspeakers to attract customers, threatening a fine of up to
50,000 yuan (US$6,250).
House owners will also be fined if the noise from home
improvements severely affects their neighbors.
Beijing has experienced
worsening noise pollution alongside its rapid development. Nearly
half of all environmental complaints are about noise from
construction sites, business hawkers or home improvements,
according to the environment bureau.
"A sound sleep should not be a luxury for residents,"
said a spokesman from the bureau.
The previous noise management regulation was issued in
1984 and was revised in 1997, but it can no longer meet the demands
of residents, according to the bureau.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2006)