(Yicai Global) Aug. 29 -- In a bid to tighten up regulations on sewage-strewn rivers in urban areas, the Chinese regulatory authority set up a public account on WeChat named "Public Urban Water Environment Regulation," as part of China's Environment ministry's "black and smelly river" initiative.
Lists of rivers polluted by sewage or household waste can be publicly disclosed by environmentally conscious citizens, and complaints can be submitted by the public.
The "National Malodorous Water Body Remediation Information Disclosure" and the "Public Urban Water Environmental Regulation" account was set up on WeChat in February 2016, jointly launched by The Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Department and Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Over the past five months since the launch, a total of 1,846 complaints have been received, of which 1,727 have been settled.
The rapid development of the Internet allows the public to take part in pollution supervision more efficiently. If anyone sees a malodorous body of water, or indeed, smells it, members of the public can take a photo of it using their phones and submit it to the public account on WeChat.
Once a user selects "report a malodorous river" after logging into their account, their location will be identified, and they can then describe the odor and color of the river as well as the garbage and sewage in it by clicking on "report river at the current location," and the report can be submitted to the authorities.
A complaint should be processed within seven business days according to regulations. Statistics show that residents in Beijing filed the most complaints, with 576, followed by Hunan, with 302, Guangdong, had 164, Shandong 137, Fujian 108 and Anhui, who had 104 complainants.
Complaints submitted in these six provinces and municipalities made up 75.4 percent of the national total, and Beijing alone accounted for 31.2 percent.