Haze continues to worry Beijing on eve of opening ceremony

August 7th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

By V.Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 7 (IANS) The Beijing Olympic Games Organising Committee will have its fingers crossed in the fervent hope that the skies, which have had haze hanging over it for the last few days, will clear out in time for the opening ceremony Friday. The opening ceremony is due to start at eight seconds past eight minutes at eight p.m. on August 8. The ceremony itself, which has been kept as a big secret will last three-and-a-half-hours and will showcase Chinese culture and its progress through the years.

On Wednesday and again Thursday, haze settled over Beijing skies adding to the worries that it might affect the athletes and their performance over the next two weeks.

Pollution and the haze resulting from it has been a topic for environmentalists around the world for the past few years as the Games have neared. And now with less than 24 hours to go for the kick-off those worriers continue.

However, experts have predicted clear skies for the opening ceremony.

According to the organisers, Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau showed that levels of particulate matter were within the “fairly good” range.

But humidity has been high with the smog refusing to go away.

The administration has done its best by pulling out millions of cars from the roads and they have also asked for suspension of factory work to avoid pollution and ensure better air.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it might reschedule events if the pollution was too bad, especially for athletes in endurance events.

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