The fight against pollution in major waterways remains a major battle despite claims of initial success by the authorities. Xinhua yesterday quoted the State Administration of Environmental Protection as saying that water quality in some sections of the waterways targeted by the authorities was finally under control. They included part of the Huai River, Hai River, Liao River, Tai Lake, Dianchi Lake and Chao Lake. But pollution remained rampant along the main river tributaries and some parts of the lakes. Xinhua quoted the administration as saying that some factories were continuing to discharge pollutants into the water systems even after government officials had completed their inspections. 'The main problem is . . . those factories which have reached the [safety] standard cannot keep to the standard steadily and some even discharge pollutants into the waters in secret,' environmental officials said. A total of 3,540 enterprises producing 100 tonnes of sewage a day had made efforts to curb pollution. A further 1,073 enterprises had stopped production or have been shut by the Government, Xinhua said. But 130 factories along the Hai River and Liao River still had not taken action despite orders from the Government. Officials said the pace of building water treatment plants along the waterways was still lagging far behind the government target. Only 28 water treatment plants were operating and a further 125 were under construction. A further 131 planned by the Government have not even started construction. Meanwhile, Xinhua said 88 per cent of the 238,000 factories identified by the Government as sources of pollution had brought down the level of discharges as required under the new regulations. Officials said pollution remained serious in many industries due to the lack of funding to install environmentally friendly equipment. The administration also hailed the success to contain the problem of acid rain in major cities, saying the amount of sulphur dioxide discharged in 98 cities had been kept under the level permitted by the Government. The amount of sulphur dioxide discharged annually in these cities has been brought down from 14.8 million tonnes two years ago to 11.1 million tonnes, according to official statistics quoted by Xinhua.