The work to clean the garbage below the 135m water level mark and the construction of the sewage and garbage disposal centers must be fulfilled and be operational before June of 2003 when the Three Gorges Reservoir begins to conserve water in its second phase.
The order was made at the second meeting of the leading group of three gorges reservoir water pollution control under the State Council. Xie Zhenhua, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration and head of the group, said that water pollution control work must not impede the construction of the reservoir.
Pollution control for the forthcoming reservoir has got into full swing since the State Council meeting on resettlement in the three gorges reservoir area last year. The work on the sewage and garbage disposal centers as designed has been mostly started in Chongqing city and Hubei province.
Chongqing will dispose of 688,000 tons of sewage a day and Hubei will complete half of the planned projects by the end of this year. In the meantime, the cleaning of the solid waste below the 135m water level of the forthcoming reservoir is well under way.
The leading group demands that all the local governments in the reservoir area must take steps to complete all projects in good quality and as scheduled.
Xie Zhenhua said that the cleaning of dangerous matter must be done ahead of industrial and urban garbage to minimize the negative impacts after the reservoir begins to conserve water. There must be effective links to collect ship-borne garbage and have it disposed in time on shore, he said.
He said that in order to cut the total amount of water pollutants, the localities must readjust their industrial structure and launch water pollution control projects in the upper reaches of the reservoir and in its tributaries. He said that it is imperative to establish a sewage and garbage disposal charging system to ensure regular operation. He urged that all localities pool their efforts to attain the targets to ensure the second phase water conserving of the reservoir on time.
(www.cenews.com.cn July 29, 2002)