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Riverbank Projects Go Under Scrutiny
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will ratchet up supervision of riverbank construction projects during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), vice minister of water resources Jiao Yong said on Tuesday.


The Ministry of Water Resources will boost law enforcement to halt illegal construction projects along the country's rivers, Jiao Yong said at a national conference on river course management held in Wuxi city, east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Any unlawful projects discovered will be immediately stopped and the people responsible severely punished, Jiao said.


A survey by the ministry of 5,155 construction projects begun in river zones in the 2002-2005 period found that 770 of them were illegal and 691 of the illegal projects had been demolished or redesigned by the end of 2005, added Jiao.


Jiao said that China's fixed assets investment in water conservancy hit 362.5 billion yuan (about US$45.31 billion) during the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005), equaling the total amount spent between 1949-2000.


Both the number of new projects and the amount of money invested in water conservancy during the 2001-2005 period have been the largest since new China was founded in 1949, Jiao said.


China has constructed a batch of water conservancy infrastructures between 2001 and 2005, with the central government investing 169.5 billion yuan in this sector, Jiao said.


Flood prevention capacity of China’s great rivers has been upgraded with the construction of these facilities, he said.


However, Jiao said the new facilities are far from enough to combat potential floods, particularly for minor rivers.


China will continue to put more money towards water conservancy facility construction in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), the deputy minister said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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