BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- More than 31.5 billion yuan (3.8 billion US dollars) has been plowed into initiatives since 2001 aimed at controlling water pollution in some of the country's major rivers and lakes.
Under the investment, which will continue through the end of next year, the central government and local agencies have completed nearly 500 projects, and can now treat more than 7.9 million tons of waste water each day, according to Tuesday's ChinaDaily.
However, official said on Monday such a massive achievement is not nearly enough progress, and they urged local governments to continue giving more support to related projects.
Regions along and around the three rivers and three lakes-- Huaihe, Haihe and Liaohe rivers and Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi lakes -- which include 11 provinces and Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai municipalities -- suffer from serious pollution.
For example, half of the Huaihe River's tributaries are seriously polluted and in a few monitoring sections along the river, the pollution index is worsening.
A pollution control plan was developed for the Taihu Lake region in 2001 and similar plans for the other five lakes came outlast year, according to Pan Yue, vice-minister of State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).
The plans involve 1,534 pollution treatment projects, includingwaste water treatment plants, and require an investment of more than 100 billion yuan (12 billion US dollars).
All the projects are scheduled to be completed by 2005. In addition to the already completed efforts, 389 are under construction.
Despite the achieved results, Pan said many factors are hindering the complete fulfillment of the pollution plans. He saidlocal governments' enforcement of environment related laws and regulations and implementations of relevant policies are not perfect enough. Enditem