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City invests heavily for clean river
( 2003-10-28 09:35) (China Daily)

Nanjing of East China's Jiangsu Province plans to spend about 3.5 billion yuan (US$ 421 million) to improve the environment of the outer Qinhuaihe River, according to Zhou Lan, head of the Nanjing Urban Planning Bureau, at a press conference on Sunday.

All the problems concerning the river and the areas along its banks will have been tackled in a comprehensive way before 2005, when the 10th National Games will be held in the city.

The bureau of water conservancy in Nanjing, along with the environmental protection, transportation, gardening, and urban planning bureaux are now co-operating with each other to do the job, according to Zhou

"Our main targets include removing the hidden perils of both floods and waterlogging caused by the river, improving water quality, making the area greener by planting trees along the banks and providing a beautiful living environment for all citizens," she emphasized.

According to Zhou, a detailed programme was drawn out last July for the comprehensive improvement of the river area. About 3.5 billion yuan is needed for the major projects listed in the programme.

Less than half of the money comes from the income of sewage treatment. It is estimated that in 25 years, 1.5 billion yuan (US$ 180 million) of the total income of sewage treatment will be used for the river.

As well, the 66.7 hectare area along the river banks is estimated to increase by 900 million yuan (US$110 million) in value, and altogether 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) in enterprise bonds is needed. Some of the bonds have already been issued, and others will be issued to help supplement the money for treating the river.

The central government has also appropriated a special fund of 250 million yuan (US$30 million) for upgrading water quality in the outer Qinhuaihe River.

Many citizens have expressed their opinions about the programme through letters and telephone calls. Some of them thought the areas along the banks of the river should not be developed into residential districts.

However, most experts hold that both arable land and residential buildings should be developed according to the comprehensive programme.

Tsinghua University Architecture Professor Zhang Jie pointed out that the government should on the one hand consider the suggestions given by the citizens, and on the other hand make plans based on a number of factors. The programme of the areas along the river banks should be made according to their different characteristics, said architecture Professor Yang Jianqiang of Southeast University in Nanjing.

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