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Cold comfort for heatless Beijingers

By Yin Yeping (Global Times)

10:38, November 07, 2012

A primary school student wraps up in a quilt at school in Haidian district as the heating system was not available in November, 2011. Many Beijing residents have complained the central heating is not yet working in their homes. Photo: CFP

Thousands of Beijing residents have complained online and to heating companies that their central heating has still not been switched on, two days after the government promised citywide heating coverage.

Beijing Heating Group (BHG), responsible for heating 30 percent of the capital's homes and one of the largest heating companies in the city, told the Global Times Monday that teething problems are normal at the beginning of the heating season, and it takes several days to provide heat to all homes.

Zhang Chuandong, BHG media officer, said they had received 16,000 complaint calls on Saturday alone.

"This is higher than the number of phone calls last year," he said. He did not specify how many calls they had received last year, but added that there were more calls because the heating provision started at a weekend, so more people were at home.

A resident of Daozuomiao residential compound in Haidian district, surnamed Ji, said the heating system in his apartment was not working after the government promised to provide heating on November 3, 12 days earlier than usual. He was forced to use his air conditioner for heat, he said.

"At least 4,000 residents in our compound are facing the same problem," he said.

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