Without intensifying pollution control, the mammoth water diversion project from South to North China would become costly thankless labor, warned NPC deputy ZhangWentai.
At group discussions of the on-going Fifth Session of the Ninth National People's Congress, Zhang said that water pollution is very serious along the route of the water diversion project and if no effort is made to control the pollution, the water from the Yangtze River would be seriously contaminated and the project would lose its significance.
Zhang Wentai quoted a survey material as saying that the annual wastewater discharge along the planned eastern route totaled 2.951 billion tons and the total discharge of ammonia and nitrogen is 135,000 tons. The ammonia and nitrogen density has exceeded the prescribed standards at 36 sections and permanganate has exceeded the state set standards in 25 sections. In addition, there are 53 seriously polluted rivers flowing into the water diversion canal.
Although pollution problems have received the attention of all parties, but due to investment and local economic interests, it is difficult to put water control measures in place.
"The key to successful pollution control lies in making laws," he said.
He urged the authorities to set up a special organization to carry out investigation and study and draft laws as soon as possible and put them into execution before the project starts.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2002)