An inspector checks the road a cleaner has swept. (Photo/Chinanews.com)
(ECNS) -- Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, has launched a new set of standards to evaluate the effectiveness of road cleaners, by weighing the dust of the areas they are responsible for cleaning.
The city's roads are classified into three levels, each with different cleaning standards. Dust on Level I roads should be less than five grams per square meter; dust on Level II roads should be less than 10 grams per square meter; and dust on Level III roads should be less than 20 grams, according to trial standards issued by the local government at the beginning of the year.
The standards have attracted attention online, with some questioning whether they are too rigid. An internet user called Lu Na said the government should show more care for the road cleaners themselves. Lu also wondered whether the salaries of cleaners would be impacted by the rigid standards.
Lan Yougang, an official with a local environment cleaning office, said the standards could be met with good road facilities and hard work by cleaners.
The road environment has been obviously improved since the new standards took effect, Lan said, adding that road environment inspectors can carry out spot checks on road conditions at any time.
Assessment of road cleaners are carried out each month, and the results could impact their performance-pay. Cleaners who fail on three occasions to meet the standards could face disciplinary action.
Road cleaner Wang Guanhai, 62, said he worked on Level III roads. He had to work overtime to meet the standards. "I work from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., and clean the roads four or five times each day," Wang said.
Other provinces and cities, such as Shandong, Hebei and Chongqing, have also issued such regulations, the report said.