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China Daily Website

Cities need proper drainage systems

Updated: 2013-07-24 20:35

Authorities should take action to improve the urban drainage system, so as to guarantee people's property and personal safety, said an article in Beijing Youth Daily (excerpts below).

The flood season has brought heavy rainfall to many cities, resulting in severe waterlogging, a failure of the urban drainage system. Flooding this year has affected 30 provinces and 47.7 million people. It has killed 337 people and destroyed 150,000 houses.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has urged cities to establish a sound urban drainage system over a 10-year period. But severe waterlogging is still common in some cities. It seems the demands of the central authorities have little impact on this issue.

The problem of the Chinese urban drainage system lies in the cities' poor management and the absence of a system of accountability. In different cities, authorities of water resources, departments of urban construction, or both, are responsible for flood prevention.

Passing the buck is common in local areas, and it's not surprising that the relevant policies are rarely implemented.

And without specific standards and criteria, it is difficult to judge whether a city's drainage system is good enough. Japan has a law that clearly stipulates technical standards for sewers and which set up a system of accountability. Maybe we should learn from Japan's practices on this issue.