Source: Xinhua | 2012-10-31 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
BEIJING will ban vehicles carrying toxic or dangerous chemicals from entering the capital from November 1 to 18 as it gears up security for the Party's national congress, where a new leadership will be elected.
The municipal government yesterday initiated an emergency response program, asking relevant departments to ensure water, electricity, gas, heat, transportation and fire control services in the event of an emergency.
The program requires emergency response teams to restore normal operations within 15 minutes in case of an emergency, such as a technical malfunction.
The valid term for vehicles registered outside Beijing to stay in the city will also be shortened to three days from seven days, according to the city's traffic management bureau.
The municipal fire department started a campaign in mid-October to check and remove fire risks at venues that will serve the congress and central government compound, as well as hotels, hospitals, schools, markets, stores, cinemas, clubs and Internet cafes.
Sanitation workers will strengthen food safety and cleanliness inspections in hotels and restaurants.
"Services for every post and every section should be assured so as to ensure a successful congress," said Guo Jinlong, secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee.
Workers and retirees have been mobilized to help maintain order and security before and during the meeting.
Wearing a red armband with characters "security patrol," a photographer surnamed Chen is looking for business near a giant flower basket installed at the center of Tian'anmen Square, a must-see spot for many tourists.
"I have been taking shots for tourists for five years, and I am willing to be a security volunteer," Chen said. "With this armband, I am authorized to stop bad behavior among tourists."
Yang Liping, 56, has been volunteering for a year, following retirement. Other than a red armband, Yang also wears a red vest and a red hat. On the back of the vest are characters, indicating that she is from the Beijing Association of Security Volunteers.
"It's an honor to be a volunteer, as I can do something that is helpful for society, such as patrolling around the subway exits and offering aid to those in need," she added.
The Chinese Communist Party's 18th National Congress will start its sessions on November 8, with more than 2,000 CPC delegates participating. The national congress is held every five years.
A new CPC leadership will be elected during the meeting, setting a new direction for the country's development in the near future.