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Key phase launched in river clean-up
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09:39, November 08, 2007

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SHANGHAI: Dreams of a crystal-clear Suzhou Creek drew closer to reality yesterday when the city took another major step to clean up the polluted waterway.

"Suzhou Creek is the mother river of Shanghai but it has been seriously polluted by industrial development in the past 80 years. We are now striving to improve the water quality and its surroundings," Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said at the ceremony.

The 3.14 billion yuan ($387 million) phase was officially inaugurated by the city's new Party chief, Yu Zhengsheng.

The project aims to be completed in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo and is part of continuous efforts to rehabilitate the ecological system.

Unveiled in 1997, it is included in the municipal government's pledge to reduce waste and emissions - at the cost of economic growth, if necessary.

The previous two phases of the clean-up involved the lower reaches of the river's main stream and its six tributaries.

It has achieved national-level standards that now make it clean enough for crop irrigation.

"The major task of the third phase is to strengthen the flood prevention dykes along the creek and to clear the silt," project director Xiong Jianping said.

The project will see 27 km of the 34 km dykes strengthened, while 1.3 million cu m of silt will be dug out.

A 99.2-km sewage pipe will also be built and a waste processing plant at the creek will be moved to the suburban area of Tiandu.

Currently the station deals with 1,000 tons of garbage, 550 tons of dung and 60 tons of silt every day.

The project has been seen by many as proof of the municipal government's commitment toward the environment.

Source:China Daily

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