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Call for improved sewage facilities
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More work is needed to improve wastewater treatment facilities in less-developed areas of Guangdong, the China Zhigong Party said recently.

"Much has been achieved in the Pearl River Delta region, but this is not the case in the less-developed regions to the east, west and north of the province," the party's Guangdong committee said in a recent report.

About 90 percent of the wastewater handling capacity is in the Pearl River Delta region, it said.

"It is therefore essential that authorities speed up the development of facilities across Guangdong," it said.

"The lack of wastewater treatment facilities in less-developed areas actually poses a threat to the province's drinking water, as the majority of sources are located there," the report said.

"Also, a decision made last year to relocate labor-intensive industries from the Pearl River Delta region to less-developed areas makes the need for efficient wastewater treatment facilities even more urgent," it said.

Also, the report said a scientific approach should be applied to the selection of locations for new industrial parks, so as to minimize the risk of pollution.

The Guangdong government said earlier that it plans to build 94 wastewater treatment plants, with a total daily handling capacity of 3.18 million tons, in less-developed regions between 2006 and 2010. None of the facilities are as yet operational.

Speaking at a seminar recently, Lin Musheng, vice-governor of Guangdong, said: "The government aims to dispose of at least 70 percent of all sewage produced in cities whose population is over 500,000.

"It will also set up wastewater treatment facilities in more than 60 percent of the province's key towns by 2010," he said.

More than 40 billion yuan (US$5.8 billion) has been allocated over the period 2008-12 for the development of wastewater treatment projects in these areas, he said.

(China Daily February 18, 2009)

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