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December 30, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

City lagging in air quality and roads

ALTHOUGH overall it occupies second spot in a public services ranking, Shanghai lags behind most other cities in China when it comes to green credentials and public transport, a new report said.

The 2010 urban public services index, issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University yesterday, ranked the city 29th in the environmental protection index of 35 Chinese cities on the list and 28th in the public transportation infrastructure index.

"Air quality and road conditions are major setbacks," said Chen Xian, a major researcher and a professor at the university. He said that Shanghai lagged behind in the index of per-capita road area for the huge population.

Researchers evaluated the city's performance from 11 indexes.

These included: infrastructure; construction; health and safety; social security; education and culture; and environmental protection.

Shenzhen took top place and Beijing came third. In general, eastern coastal cities fared better than western inland ones.

The city has reported several serious air-polluted days since last month, including a day graded with the poorest quality this year on a five-level scale.

Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau visited three construction sites yesterday. For a site on Youdong Road in Minhang, it was the second inspection this month, after a visit on December 3 detected problems in keeping dust under control.

"Today's check found the site hadn't done work it was told to do last time, and we have reported this to the construction authorities for further warnings and a possible penalty," said Chen Jie, a bureau official.

As a result of the recent poor air quality, the authorities may launch joint measures with relevant departments, the official said.

Dust from roads and construction sites, which reopened after the World Expo ended on October 31, are said to be a major factor in recent pollution. Dry weather and weak winds have meant pollution has not dispersed so quickly.

Environmental officials said dust from roads is more serious than construction dust. The urban management bureau sent staff to clean roads regularly during the Expo, but has now stopped doing this.

However, officials from Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said cleaning roads had recently brought complaints from drivers who claimed it created slippery driving conditions.


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