Southwest China's Sichuan Province is targeting pollution in diverse rivers that flow through the landlocked western region.
Zhu Tiankai, director of the Sichuan Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau, pledged enhanced efforts to control pollution in the Minjiang and Tuojiang, two tributaries of China's longest river, the Yangtze.
The provincial capital Chengdu, which lies in the valley formed by the Minjiang and Tuojiang rivers, has earmarked 6 billion yuan (about US$723 million) to reduce water pollution in urban districts over the next three years.
The money will fund 10 new sewage plants and eight garbage treatment centers, and four other major water projects in urban Chengdu will also be launched to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the Minjiang River.
To curb pollution, Leshan and Yibin cities, both at the Minjiang River, have ordered the closure of paper-making plants with annual production capacity below 17,000 tons.
The Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and Aba and Ya'an, both situated on the upper reaches of the Minjiang, have intensified efforts to convert farmland to growing trees and vegetation.
By 2002, 23 percent of sewage in Sichuan Province was treated, compared with 20 percent in 2001, thanks to a growing awareness and increased investment in environmental protection.
This year Sichuan would also step up monitoring water quality in the Yangtze River within the province, as well as in two of its tributaries, the Jialing and Jinsha, Zhu said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2003)