|Guatemala CityÂ – Beijingâ€™s Olympic Games organisers are planning to purge 50000 pollution-producing taxis from the cityâ€™s roads in a bid to combat pollution in the build-up to next yearâ€™s Summer Games.
Bocog, the acronym for the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, presented a report to the International Olympic Committeeâ€™s (IOCâ€™s) executive boardÂ which is meeting here to decide who wins the right to host the 2014 Winter OlympicsÂ stating that it was going to take drastic measures to ease pollution in the city.
â€œIt ( Bocog) highlighted the work being done on renovating 16000 coal-burning factories,â€ IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. â€œIt also said that they would replace 50000 taxis and 10000 buses.â€
Davies also revealed that the Beijing committee would take action from August 17-20 this year when test events are planned.
â€œBocog have said they are going to take a million cars off the roads and see how that contingency plan works.â€
Beijing has aimed for 245 days with â€œblue skyâ€ this year a measure of reasonable air. The city has some catching up to doÂ it recorded only 110 such days in the first six months.
â€œBlue skyâ€ days are those with an air quality of Grade 2 or better on Chinaâ€™s air quality index, with Grade 1 being the best and Grade 5 the worst.
Poor air quality in Beijing, one of the worldâ€™s most polluted cities, is of substantial concern for many of the 10000 athletes who will compete at the August 8-24 Olympics next year.
Some competitors are planning to arrive in Beijing at the last moment before they compete to avoid the potential health risks of bad air.