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Contracts signed for water diversion project
By Liang Chao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-10 06:40

Beijing's thirst for water will be alleviated by 2007, with the completion of one section of the middle line of the giant south-to-north water diversion project.

Zhang Ye, head of the construction and management bureau of the project, signed a contract of mandate with North China's Hebei Province on Friday for building the 307-kilometre-long section between Beijing and Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital.

The contract, the first of its kind adopted in China for a giant project, marks a new system of project management.

The middle line is the largest water diversion project ever built in China. Seven provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu and Shandong have been involved in the requisition of land, the resettlement of locals, water pollution-control and fundraising.

Under the contract, Hebei Province will be responsible for the construction of the Beijing-Shijiazhuang section, which is also designed to link four reservoirs in Hebei with Beijing as an emergency water supply channel.

The south-to-north water diversion project consists of three south-to-north canals, each running more than 1,000 kilometres across the eastern, middle and western parts of the country. To be built in three phases, section by section, the three canals will link up the country's four major rivers the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Huaihe River and Haihe River.

Four leading independent project entities will be established one by one to pave the way for full construction of the eastern and middle lines of the ambitious diversion project.

Under the supervision of the four project entities, "some designated project proprietors established by local authorities as trustees for the leading entities along the two lines will take full responsibility for fund-raising, construction, operation management, loan repayment, insured value and appreciation of their projects and assets," Zhang said.

(China Daily 12/10/2005 page2)

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