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City Goes All out in Green Effort

Shanghai will tighten pollution restrictions in the next three years to reach its target to be a national model city for environmental protection before World Expo 2010 -- and horn-honking motorists beware.

Officials released major tasks for the fourth round of Three-Year Environmental Protection Action Plan, which will run from next year through 2011, at a city government press conference on Wednesday.

"Shanghai's efforts in environmental protection could provide a model for other booming cities in China," said Fang Fang, deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The ban on horn-honking, for example, will be expanded from downtown to the entire city area from next year.

Highways, fly-overs and busy downtown streets will be the first areas targeted in the tooting crackdown.

Last June, the city banned vehicles from sounding horns within the Outer Ring Road. These regulations are still open to further and strict implementation, officials said.

The new National IV emission standards are also expected to be adopted. Supervision and checkups citywide will be enforced to take highly polluting vehicles off the roads.

A cleaner and bigger water supply to downtown is expected in the next three years, including the completion of the Qingcaosha Reservoir near Chongming Island.

The reservoir, which is scheduled to be completed by 2010, will be able to store 435 million cubic meters of water -- enough to supply half of the city's needs for 68 days.

The water is promised to be cleaner than that from the Huangpu River, which now accounts for about 80 percent of Shanghai's supplies.

The authority also expects the sewage-treatment hook-up rate downtown to reach 80 percent within three years.

The city embarked on its first Three-Year Environmental Protection Action Plan in 2000. Since then, more than 3 percent of Shanghai's GDP has been invested in environmental protection each year.

The third round of the Three-Year Environmental Protection Action Plan will reach its conclusion this year.

(Shanghai Daily June 12, 2008)

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