A deputy director in charge of highway construction in Sichuan has been arrested for corruption, the province's party boss said yesterday. Zheng Daofang, a deputy director of Sichuan Transport Bureau, is accused of taking bribes, said Sichuan Party Secretary Zhou Yongkang. A local source said Zheng took 2.9 million yuan (HK$2.7 million), mainly in kickbacks for awarding highway contracts. The source added that about 20 officials, many of them senior, had also been arrested. The source described the amount of bribes involved in this case as the highest in corruption cases exposed in Sichuan so far. Mr Zhou, who declined to give further details of Zheng's alleged crimes, said the bureau's director, Liu Zhongshan, had been removed for failing to keep his subordinate in check. But Mr Liu was still head of a company under the bureau. His vacancy at the bureau has been filled by Wen Weixiang, formerly the bureau's secretary-general. Mr Zhou said corruption would not be tolerated and promised that department heads would be held directly responsible for the conduct of their subordinates. He was speaking at a press conference yesterday to promote Sichuan's new role in China's plan to develop its northwest provinces. Meanwhile, Chongqing Vice-mayor Zhao Gongqing denied overseas reports that a huge sum of money earmarked for resettling families displaced by the Three Gorges Dam had been misused. 'It is not as high as the overseas media have reported. According to the figures provided by state auditors, only about two per cent of the fund was misused and less than one per cent was embezzled by officials,' Mr Zhao said. He said the largest case uncovered so far involved a local bureaucrat in Fengdu county who pocketed more than 10 million yuan in resettlement funds. The vice-mayor said the official's trial would open soon. Mr Zhao pledged that the Government would step up monitoring the use of resettlement funds.