To curb pollution, China reverts to bicycles

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China, once a nation of bicycles, is reverting to it as a means of movement once again in a measure to push government vehicles off the roads at least once a week in a nationwide effort to conserve energy and curb pollution.

In some cities, government staff will have to get on their bicycles as an energy conservation measure. Public servants will be encouraged to walk if their journey is less than a kilometre, ride bicycles for journeys up to three km and use public transport for trips less than five km.

The vehicle curfew is one of the measures ordered by China’s central government to be carried out over the next four years, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The last digit on their licence plates will determine which government owned vehicles or those used by government companies will stay off the road, according to rules stipulated by the National Development and Reform Commission and the finance ministry.

The excessive use of cars by government and state-owned companies has long been an issue of public concern in China.

Also included in the energy-saving endeavour is the use of recycled paper and green stationery in government offices. Reducing the elevator usage is also being encouraged.

In Shanghai, the country’s commercial hub, government offices have already restricted the use of elevators.

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