Markets relocated to reduce traffic jams

Updated: 2015-11-17 06:57

By Hu Yongqi(China Daily)

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Beijing has moved thousands of wholesale booths and shut down 315 polluting factories in the first three quarters of this year.

The move is designed to ease traffic congestion, support the development of less congested areas in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster and reduce air pollution, local authorities said on Monday.

Wholesale markets draw thousands of retailers from all over the country who contribute to traffic jams in Beijing, especially during rush hours.

In the first three quarters, the capital relocated 12,000 booths covering 440,000 square meters in 90 wholesale markets to Hebei province, accounting for 60 percent of the year's plan, said Wang Haichen, executive deputy director of the office of Beijing's Leading Group for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Integrated Development.

By the end of this year, 60 percent of shops at the Beijing Zoo Wholesale Market will be relocated to Hebei, along with the 13,500 people who run them.

In addition, the Nanyuan township government shut down five wholesale markets in the Dahongmen area, a nationally renowned distribution center for clothes in Beijing's Fengtai district.

Earlier this year, the Beijing municipal government adopted policies designed to encourage the relocations, following the announcement in March by the country's top leadership of an integration plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster.

More than 80 industrial operations currently in Beijing will be moved to Hebei province, with a total investment exceeding 120 billion yuan ($19 billion), according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.

Yu Yongchun, director of the commission's coordination department, said small factories shut down this year came from industries such as metallurgy and chemical production that emitted large amounts of pollutants into the air and contributed to smog in northern China.

"All relocation work started this year will move people involved in low-end manufacturing and wholesaling to neighboring areas next year," Yu said.