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Shanghai Strives to Become the Next 'Pleasantville'

The environmental protection authority in Shanghai is drafting a plan for 2003 to 2005 to transform the city into a pleasant metropolis to live.

"The city has made drafting the plan its key task," said Huang Zhen, an official at the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The years from 2000 to 2002 constitute the first three-year period for Shanghai's environment plan.

It will take several three-year plans to better the environment, Mayor Chen Liangyu said.

With an estimated investment of 40 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion), the first phase of the plan has focused on the treatment of solid waste, waste gas, sewage and polluted areas.

By 2001, more than half of the estimated investment amount had been used.

The improvements were noticeable. For example, Suzhou Creek no longer stinks, more public parks are open, and the city's incinerator is burning waste that has been collected.

More trees will be planted to increase the city's forest coverage to 20 per cent and make the city qualify as "a garden city."

And 27 more sewage treatment factories will be built with an estimated 18 billion yuan (US$2.18 billion) in investment so as to treat all 5 million tons of household and industrial sewage produced a day.

In addition, chemical fertilizer and pesticides will be reduced in farming to alleviate pollution. Wujing Industrial Park and other industrial areas will be treated as major pollution sites and be requested to radically improve.

The new plan is being verified by the Water Affairs Administration and the Municipal Urban Planning and Management Bureau. It is likely to be publicized before the end of the year.

(China Daily April 12, 2002)

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