In a continuing effort to make street-BBQ a scapegoat for the city’s insufferable pollution problems, Beijing authorities announced yet another crackdown on illegal vendors who, from May 1, can face up to 20,000 yuan in fines for grilling the street meat.
Beijing’s initial campaign to ban outdoor barbecues was introduced in 2000 but has been effectively ignored by vendors since, despite the occasional operation smash here and there.
Wang Yuesi, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, claims that barbecue emissions account for 13 percent of the PM2.5 particles floating in Beijing’s air supply. The findings in January pushed authorities to roll out nearly 20,000 security cameras in the city to crack down on the stalls.
Passersby who spoke with CCTV criticized the ban in defense of their beloved BBQ: “I think outdoor grills give off far less pollution compared to illegal industries and and cars. They should be the targets for tackling smog,” said one interview.
More importantly, as another said: “If they’re banned, where will people eat?”
[Image via Flickr]