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|Monday, February 05, 2001, updated at 13:57(GMT+8)|
Illegal Quarrying Along Yangtze River BannedThe Ministry of Land and Resources has issued a ban on the unauthorized removal of sand along the Yangtze River to protect water conservation facilities and ensure smooth transport there.
The ban will focus on the middle and lower reaches of the river, the so-called "mother river" of the Chinese nation, which cover Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces and Shanghai.
The ban is aimed to guard against the increasing number of illegal diggers who have returned to the above-mentioned areas in pursuit of easy-earned sand-selling profits, said Zeng Shaoquan, director of the Department of Mineral Resources Exploration Management under the ministry.
Although it is necessary to dig away some of the sand in the Yangtze River, which quickly becomes silted up, excessive and improper digging has endangered dikes and dams and interrupted the flow of transport on the river, one of the country's major transport arteries.
illegal sand digging has caused a river block that took eight hours to free up in Central China's Anhui Province last year, said Monday's China Daily.
According to Zeng, his ministry has demanded local governments to tighten management over sand digging on the river and it will not be issuing any further sand-digging licenses until a study on the relevant issues has been completed.
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