An official of quake-hit Beichuan County of Sichuan Province yesterday confirmed to the Beijing News newspaper that the new county seat will be located to the east of Anchang Town in the nearby Anxian County. The seat will cover a total area of about 10 square kilometers and will represent an investment of 19.32 billion yuan (US $2.8 billion).
Marking a major step in reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake that hit Sichuan on May 12, local authorities in the city of Mianyang have decided to rebuild the county seat of Beichuan, one of the worst-hit areas in the quake.
Chen Wen, an information officer of Mianyang City, said in early November that a group of more than 40 experts in construction and earthquakes headed by Tan Li, the Party chief of Mianyang, which has Beichuan and Anxian counties under its administrative responsibility, has arrived in Beichuan to plan the reconstruction of the new county seat,
The master plan will be completed by the end of December, with the first phase of their construction scheduled to start next February, Chen said.
Housing allocation, medical and sanitation facilities, social welfare, and infrastructure were listed as the top investment priorities.
The master plan shows that the population of the new county seat will reach 57,000 to 61,000 in its center and adjoining districts, and 38,000 to 40,000 in its residential area along the banks of the Anchang River.
Safety was the top priority in selecting the new county seat, and the new houses will be built to resist earthquakes at level seven on the Richter Scale.
More than 8,600 of the 13,000 people living in Beichuan's Qushan town, about 90 km from the quake epicenter, were killed in the disaster.
(China.org.cn by Zhou Jing, December 3, 2008)