WHEN the 2008 Olympic Games open in Beijing, some athletes will have to go to Qingdao, a beautiful coastal city in east China’s Shandong Province, to compete for medals in windsurfing.
The city, 870km southeast of Beijing, has already putting aside a special budget to clean up the environment to add more Olympic glory to its seaside charm.
Qindao, one of China’s most well-known seaside resorts, is a major training base for China’s windsurfing team.
The city has decided to upgrade its facilities and embrace the Olympic Games with a brand new look. The most daring part of their plan is to minimise air pollution.
The first step is placing the future windsurfing competition venue well away from pollution emitted by a power plant only 7km from the venue.
The plant produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of burnt coal ash every year. Already, 40 million yuan (RM13.3mil) had been invested to set up a special line in the plant to turn the coal ash into concrete or other construction material.
The plant also plans to transport the ash to a remote landfill.
“The 10 major Olympic projects for our city are all associated with environmental protection. Through water treatment and waste recycling, we feel confident of presenting a more pleasant city to the world in 2008,” said Song Chunkang, deputy director of the Environment Protection Administration of Qingdao.
The city’s comprehensive plan, aimed at reducing air, water and soil pollution, will cost US$200mil (RM760mil) a year, nearly 3% of the city’s annual GDP. – People’s Daily