During this mid-winter, blizzards have been sweeping across many countries. Forecasters in China have also issued their second-highest-level alert for heavy snow that is rolling into China's eastern regions.
¡¡¡¡The National Meteorological Center warned heavy snow is set to hit parts of Shaanxi, Henan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces over the next 24-hours.
¡¡¡¡Apart from heavy snow, people in these provinces have another concern: the cold weather.
¡¡¡¡Not all residents living in these places have heating facilities, which makes them very vulnerable amid the dropping temperatures.
China's heating system
¡¡¡¡China's heating system is very different from other countries in the world.
¡¡¡¡Back in the 1950s, the central government drew a line across the country, stipulating places located above the line can enjoy a central heating system with subsidies from the government, whereas no heating systems would be provided to places below the line.
The line is then called the heating line by the public, which basically separate China into the north and south.
As stiff as the policy may seem; however, it was the most feasible way at that time when the country was suffering from a severe energy shortage.
¡¡ But after more than 6 decades, the public, especially those living below the line, are calling for a change on the policy.
¡¡¡¡People in central China think the weather in their cities is also cold and they want a heating system like the northern provinces as well.
¡¡¡¡Many provinces and cities have also seen formal suggestions submitted on the issue.
¡¡¡¡But not much has changed since, with only debates going on every winter.
¡¡¡¡Many people living in central China (Hunan, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Sichuan, Anhui and parts of Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Henan) think that the line is unfair to them.
¡¡¡¡The lowest temperature can reach -10 degrees in winters in these provinces. With high humidity, it feels even colder.
¡¡¡¡Some people would choose to burn coal or use air-conditioners during winters.
¡¡¡¡It is no doubt that the emission of coal burning is the main cause to air pollution in China.
¡¡¡¡The use of air-conditioners has also pushed power consumption growing over 390 times in less than a decade.
¡¡¡¡Therefore many people think a central heating system could make better use of resources.
¡¡¡¡Amid strong calls for a central heating system, there are also people thinking it is not environmentally friendly.
¡¡¡¡Instead of a central heating system, homes should install their own heating facilities.