Beijing is cracking down on illicitbuildings after fire that killed 19 in the Chinese capital’s outskirts, a heavy toll on the city’s poorest residents.
The fire tragedy has sharply accelerated thecity authorities’ drive to move migrant workers out of the city as it tries tocap population growth.
Before the fire, workers with no joboptions had already been leaving central Beijing amid a shutdown of wholesalemarkets, warehouses and construction materials markets.
In the aftermath of the blaze, which killedits victims, including seven children under six years old, by carbon monoxide poisoning and left eight others injured, the main target of the evacuation hasshifted to the city’s outskirts.
That is where migrant workers usually havestayed and lured by cheap rent comparatively lax controls on construction andpacking small flats with multiple occupants.
The fire started on November 18 in a coldstorage area in the basement of a two-storey building that was divided intomini studios and cramped with migrant workers for cheap rent, according to theDaxing district government.
The Beijing Daily has denied claims thatthe purpose of the evacuations has been to drive out the so-called low-endpopulation. Rather, the programme’s goal has been to eliminate safety hazards,it said.
However, isn't it cruel to drive those poor people out of the capital in a freezing winter morning?