155b yuan set aside for flood control

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 August, 2006, 12:00am

More than 155 billion yuan may be spent on flood control along the Huai River over the next two decades as part of a strategy to stem massive losses.

A flood-control plan for the Huai River basin is awaiting approval from the National Development and Reform Commission, but an expert panel that examined the scheme late last week did not suggest any substantive changes.

Under the plan, about two-thirds of the money would be spent over the next decade on building upriver reservoirs, reinforcing riverbanks and levees in the middle reaches of the river, and enlarging the system's capacity to discharge floodwater downstream.

The rest of the money would be allocated over the following 10 years to improving the environment of the upriver sections and building more infrastructure to channel the water to the sea.

The Ministry of Water Resources' Huai River Commission said each of the two most recent major floods along the waterway - in 1991 and 2003 - cost the economy 30 billion yuan. More than 570 people died in the 1991 disaster.

The commission's propaganda department said the Central Party Committee and the State Council set up more than 19 major flood control projects after the 1991 flood.

The department said half the projects had been completed, with all expected to be finished by the end of next year.