BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) -- China has held hundreds of local officials accountable for environmental problems following the latest round of investigations by central inspectors, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Monday.
Inspectors have accepted more than 10,000 reports from the public about inefficiency in local government work of rectifying environmental problems since the end of May.
Of these, around one-third had been dealt with by Thursday. Authorities have issued fines of 58.07 million yuan (about 9 million U.S. dollars), detained 58 people, and held 630 local officials responsible in 10 provincial-level regions including Hebei, Inner Mongolia, and Heilongjiang.
A series of cases were exposed, with some governments found to have undertaken deception or only carried out perfunctory measures.
Following the first phase of review, inspection teams have started a second round expected to take around 15 days and focus on curbing the formality in environmental work.
With central inspection as an important means, China has stepped up efforts to stop environmental violations amid a shift to a development path that is more environmentally friendly.