Zhengzhou - The Henan environmental protection administration may halt the
controversial construction of a 21-km-long dragon being built as a tourist
attraction near a national forest.
The project was started without
necessary environmental assessments, according to the environmental protection
administration in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan. On Tuesday the administration
dispatched experts to the site.
Construction on the 29.9-meter-high head and
800-meter-long body of a 21-km-long dragon has been completed in central
China's Henan Provincen. The dragon is expected to cost 300 million
yuan . [newsphoto]
"If the project fails our assessment, we will order it be stopped or the
completed part to be demolished," an official with the administration said.
The dragon snakes its way along the top of a ridge of Shizhu Mountain, which
was designated a national forest park in 2005.
The dragon's body forms a nine-meter-high wall running for kilometers along
the backbone of the ridge. The project is expected to cost 300 million yuan to
"The planned dragon is like an expressway which will damage vegetation,
affect the landscape and destroy the local ecological system," said Wu Mingzuo,
director of Henan Ecology Society.
The Zhengzhou environmental protection administration said they had learned
of the project through media reports.
Li Xianmin, deputy head of the department of publicity in Zhengzhou, said in
Beijing on Wednesday that the project had received so much publicity because
Zulong Company had been trying to promote it via the Internet.
The project did not go through the proper planning and land requisition
procedures and was ordered to stop in 2003, only one year after it was
initiated, according to Li Xianmin.
At least 50 workers were busy putting the finishing to the dragon's head on
A Henan newspaper quoted an official with Xinzheng City as saying the dragon
is a business project and has nothing to do with the government. Zulong Company
vice president, Li Xiong, told the media that the dragon project had support
from the government.
An on-line survey by a leading Chinese website shows more than 90 percent of
respondents disapproved of the dragon which is said to be the longest in the
country, if not the world.
Some 5.6 million pieces of white marble and gilded bronze are to form the
dragon's scales which are supposed to be "symbolic of the country's 56 ethnic
groups". Display rooms offering themes of filial piety and patriotism are to be
set up in the dragon's hollow body.
For a fee, people will be able to have their names and messages inscribed on
the scales, and companies can advertise the dragon's head.
The project was first launched in 2002 by a returned overseas Chinese but
stalled after running short of funds, according to Henan newspapers.
The project was already under fire from some experts who said it was
inappropriate, the Shanghai Daily said on Tuesday.
"Shizu mountain is a symbol of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, who is considered
the earliest ancestor of China," the paper quoted Dai Songcheng, director of the
Henan institute of culture, as saying.
"Such an immense structure on the mountaintop is disrespectful to Huangdi."
Zulong Company was founded in October 2005 with a registered capital of one