BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing is making great efforts to cure the "urban diseases," such as congestion and air pollution, which have afflicted the megacity for a long period of time, the Beijing Daily reported.
The capital city's PM2.5 concentration was 91.6 micrograms per cubic meter on average in the first half of 2014, down 11.2 percent year on year. Beijing suffered 25 days of heavy air pollution in the first half of this year, 15 days less than the same period in 2013.
The city will cut the density of PM2.5 particles, air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, from 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 to 85 micrograms per cubic meter in 2014.
Beijing launched more than 100 technical transformation projects on environmental protection at the end of June this year, aiming to curb the city's air pollution caused by industrial emissions. These projects cover control of volatile organic compounds, desulphurization, denitration and dust elimination.
The city has launched an electric vehicle application campaign. A total of 5,563 new energy and clean energy buses are now running on its roads. It also has 1,769 pure electric sanitation vehicles.
Beijing encourages its citizens to take public transport in daily life. The average daily passenger volume for subway lines was 8.94 million in the first half, up 10 percent year on year. It is expected that the city will have 40,000 public rental bicycles by the end of this year.
Beijing completed the afforestation of 322,000 mu (21,440 ha) of its plain areas in the first half of 2014. Over the past three years, the forest coverage in the plain areas reached 930,000 mu (62,310 ha), with more than 50 million trees planted.