China punishes officials for not acting against polluters

Beijing, Oct 25 (IANS) China's ministry of supervision Thursday revealed 10 major cases of environmental damage in which local officials were punished for failing to prevent or act after severe pollution.

"Promoting the conservation culture and protecting the environment is an important duty for government at all levels," Xinhua quoted a statement from the ministry as saying.

Supervisory departments should ensure local governments fulfil their duties to environmental protection and pollution reduction, with an attitude of "high responsibility for younger generations," it added.

"Iron fist policies should be adopted to punish lawbreakers and audit officials who oversee the matters."

The vice mayor of Hezhou in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and other 26 officials were disciplined and four were prosecuted for failing to stop scores of mines from illegally discharging wastes, causing serious water pollution to the city itself and the Zhaoqing city downstream.

Three officials from Dagang district of Tianjin city were punished for allowing six factories including the Julong paper mill to operate without passing environmental impact evaluation and discharging waste water without treatment.

There were eight other cases of environmental damage in north China's Hebei and Shanxi, east China's Shanghai and Shandong, and central China's Henan, due to officials' malfeasance.


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