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Government: Beijing might make subway parcel inspections permanent
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08:39, March 19, 2009

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Beijing might make compulsory security checks and bans against begging part of its permanent subway safety rules, the municipal government said Wednesday.

In a draft regulation, the government said it planned to make the measures, started before the Olympics, permanent. Public opinion is being solicited through the end of the month.

As of February, subway staff had seized more than 37,500 dangerous items including detonators, tear bombs and gasoline, with the help of about 2,000 scanners that were installed at 123 stations since June 29, the Beijing Subway Operation Company said.

Under the rule, passengers who bring banned articles into the subways such as guns, explosives and hazardous substances would be sent to the police and receive a warning or a fine up to 200 yuan (29.4 U.S. dollars). In very serious cases, they could face five to 10 days in detention and a fine of up to 500 yuan.

The rule would also ban stockpiling items or begging on the platforms or in halls or trains of the system, because those activities might delay or hamper evacuations.

Beijing, which hosted the Olympics from Aug. 8 to 24 and Paralympics from Sept. 6 to 17 last year, has eight subway lines with 200 km of track, which carried more than 1.2 billion passengers in 2008.


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