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Huaihe Treatment, Flood Projects to Be Accelerated
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Construction of flood control and water treatment projects on the Huaihe River, a major river in the prosperous east China, is to be accelerated in the next two years, a water resources official said Sunday.

By the end of last year, nine of 19 key projects had been completed, at a cost of 23.9 billion yuan (US$3 billion), said Qian Min, director of the Huaihe River Water Resources Commission under the Water Resources Ministry.

The government has set the goal of completing all 19 key projects by 2007, focusing on prevention and control of floods and waterlogging along the Huaihe River.

"From 2006 to 2007, the central and local governments need to invest 10.6 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) and 3.4 billion yuan (US$420 million) respectively, to ensure the achievement of the goal," Qian said at a meeting on treatment of the river.

The 1,000-kilometer Huaihe originates in central China's Henan Province and runs through Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces. The areas along the river, home to one of China's economic engines, have a history of flooding and droughts.

In 1991, the State Council, or central government, set out the 19 key projects, whose construction has been a priority since 2003when severe flooding hit some areas.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2006)

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