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SW China official apologizes over polluted river


08:37, April 12, 2013

KUNMING, April 11 (Xinhua) -- A district official in southwest China's Yunnan Province apologized on Thursday after a local polluted waterway was mocked as "milk river."

Lin Hua, deputy chief of Dongchuan District of the provincial capital of Kunming, said she apologized on behalf of the district government for failing to prevent such pollution.

The apology came after media reports since April 1 saying the water of a river located in the district was milk-white because of pollution.

Supporting photos triggered public anger.

Lin said the 25-km-long waterway was not a source for drinking water, but for farmland irrigation.

According to Lin, the district government had already started inspecting the nearby area before the reports, and requested 28 of the total 45 plants along the waterway to suspend operation for rectification.

Following the reports, five ore dressing plants were found to have placed hidden pipes to discharge waste water into the waterway. The pipes were removed on April 3 and 4, and the plants have been asked to suspend production to make corrective measures, she said.

Dongchuan is not the only area plagued with pollution scandals.

In north China's Hebei Province, an environmental protection official in Cangxian County was removed from his post last week after his whitewashing of pollution infuriated the public. Deng Lianjun was reported to have claimed that the red water in the wells of a local village was just like "rice with red beans," red but consumable.

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