China has held more than 3,000 governmental officials accountable for lazy environmental protection efforts, the latest move in fighting pollution and environmental degradation.
In total, 3,287 officials in eight provincial areas, including Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Henan and Yunnan, had been held accountable by the end of September following inspections by the central government, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Wednesday.
Punishments included some being removed from their posts, said the ministry.
Fines totalling 198 million yuan (about 29 million U.S. dollars) have been slapped on violators, it added.
The results were released after central government inspection teams were despatched, starting in July.
The officials were held accountable for activities including using land in natural reserves for city construction purposes, as well as worsening air and water quality.
A second round of inspections will begin soon, said the ministry.