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Heat supply could take 7 days

[ 2009-11-03 11:22]     字号 [] [] []  
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Beijingers shivering from the cold temperatures may have to wait another seven days before heating is supplied to their apartments.

Beijing heating office said the city's 600 million sq m of housing would be heated to the required standard of 16 C by Saturday.

"Providing heating supply to the whole capital is a gradual process," said Guo Weiqi, director of Beijing heating office of the municipal administration committee.

"The professional heating supply companies need to test the hot-water pipe and ignite the fire. Usually it takes three to five days to make the temperature in rooms reach 16 C," he said.

"For some big communities, the heating process could even be stretched to seven days."

The government decided it would switch on the heating supply two weeks earlier than the Nov 15 launch date on Sunday, as snow fell on the capital on the earliest winter date in 22 years.

However, many city residents complained that the heating supply did not reach their apartments and that they remained cold on Sunday night.

"This is the first time that the Beijing government has announced publicly the heating supply should be brought forward," Guo said.

"In the past, we just got internal notices ordering that heating be supplied on an earlier date. The date was brought forward by at most 10 days."

An employee of Beijing heating supply hotline, who refused to give her name, told METRO she received about 40 complaint calls from residents living in Beijing yesterday morning.

She said many people asked questions like "Why are my rooms still so cold" and "Is it true that the heating supply started on Sunday?"

Guo said the heating season was regulated by a government order. The order is based on more than 20 years of research data from the Beijing meteorological bureau.

The heating season begins on Nov 15 and ends on March 15.

"The Nov 15 date has been fixed since the 1950s by the Beijing municipal government," said Guo.

According to the meteorological definition, winter officially begins when temperatures stay below 10 C for at least five consecutive days. But due to harsh economic conditions in the 1950s, the Beijing standard was lowered to below 5 C for five consecutive days.

Guo said: "Heating is required to be on continuously for 24 hours a day and the indoor temperature must exceed 16 C."

"From 2000 until last year, Beijing experienced warm winters. That meant that even on Nov 15, the temperature was still not cold enough to begin the heating supply. The weather this year is totally different though," Guo said.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Heat supply could take 7 days

About the broadcaster:

Heat supply could take 7 days

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.