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|Monday, July 10, 2000, updated at 10:45(GMT+8)|
Steps Taken for A Cleaner CanalLocated at the southern end of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the capital city of East China's Zhejiang Province is planning to pour some 4 billion yuan (US$482 million) into cutting water pollution.
With a total length of 1,794 kilometres making it the world's longest, the famous canal runs right through downtown Hangzhou, in its last passage of 18.1 kilometres.
A large number of local citizens in Hangzhou are living and working along the badly polluted grand canal.
According to the latest reports from the municipal government, more than 110 factories, 60 commercial buildings and some 36 residential areas are crowded along the canal inside Hangzhou.
Each day, about 400,000 cubic metres of industrial wastes and domestic garbage flow into the canal.
So instead of enjoying a great landscape provided by a downtown river, nearby residents are suffering from unpleasant smells, solid waste and noise produced by the heavy shipping on the canal.
In an effort to turn the old canal into another attraction of this famed tourism city, the local government has recently worked out a plan to bring the canal pollution under control within 10 years.
The project, said an official, will be carried out in three phases until 2010.
The recovery construction will include cleaning away the bottom layer of sludge, opening new channels to drain away polluted waters, building up river banks, planting trees and grass on both sides, and better administration of nearby factories, residential areas and shipping stations, he said.
Authorities estimated that as much as 218 million yuan (US$26 million) will be spent on every kilometre of the canal.
"It will surely be a most meaningful task to protect the greatest water conservancy project in ancient China," said the official.
Built around AD 605-610 in the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618), the grand canal is the longest man-made water channel in the world.
Beginning in Beijing, it runs through the Tianjing Municipality, North China's Hebei Province and East China's Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the canal has been one of the most important transportation channels linking North and South China.
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