China has asked its officials to adopt plans to cut emissions and mitigate pollution as smog is again likely to hit central and northern parts of the country.
The smog, which will return to Hebei, Shanxi, Shandongand Henan provinces, is expected to last until a cold front comes to the rescue around Thursday, the ministry said.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the affected regions were asked to adopt plans to cute missions and mitigate pollution.
The environment ministry will send inspection teams to check implementation of the plans, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Despite government efforts to fight pollution, outbreaks of smog have become increasingly common in winter in northern China where cold weather conditions and the burning of coal for heating combine to exacerbate the situation.
Earlier the government came under severe criticism whenofficials failed to enforce red alerts after Beijing and several other cities were enveloped by the worst smog allowing the factories to continue production.
After that Beijing announced formation of environmentalpolice to enforce rules during smog days. Severe smog triggered alerts in more than 20 cities atthe beginning of the new year.
When authorities issue red alerts, some manufacturers are required to cut production, and heavily polluting vehicles are banned from the roads.
In environment inspections last year, the MEP said a total of 720 people were detained and 6,454 held accountable for environment-related wrong doing.
In 2016, the government refused 11 high-pollution andhigh-energy consuming projects, involving total investment of97 billion yuan (about USD 14 billion). Partly due to those efforts, Chinese cities reported lessthan PM 2.5 pollution in 2016, with the average density of PM2.5 in 338 cities falling by 6 per cent. China is aiming for a 10-per cent reduction in air emissions from 2012 levels by 2017 in cities at the prefecture level and above.