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Public opinion sought on waterway draft law

(Xinhua)

09:58, May 25, 2012

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday began soliciting public opinion on a draft law on waterway protection in a bid to better protect waterways and ensure navigation safety.

Fixing fishing gears and farming fish or aquatic plants in waterways are banned by the draft law, which was publicized by the Ministry of Transport on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

The draft law stipulates that no one can pour gravel, soil, refuse or any other wastes into waterways and their surrounding areas.

Activities that affect waterway functions such as fishing, fixing vessels and refueling on the water are also prohibited, according to the draft law.

Excavating sand or soil in or near waterways is allowed but should be done without damaging navigation facilities. If damage occurs, those responsible will be fined 100,000 yuan (15,781 U.S. dollars) to 300,000 yuan, it said.

Ongoing construction projects concerning waterways will be ordered to cease and fined at least 50,000 yuan if they are not operating in accordance with the draft law.

Waterway exploitation should first consider flood control functions, and then the needs of water supply, power generation and fishing, the draft law said.

The gains of power stations built in a waterway should be partly allocated toward waterway maintenance, according to the draft law.

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