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China vows to improve urban sewerage

Updated: 2013-09-19 11:24

BEIJING - The Chinese government on Wednesday approved a draft regulation on improving urban sewage systems as part of efforts to raise the quality of urbanization.

The regulation on urban drainage and sewage treatment was discussed and approved at an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, according to a statement released after the meeting.

"Water drainage and sewage treatment systems are important elements for maintaining the healthy circulation of cities and for raising the quality of a new type of urbanization," the statement said.

The systems are closely related to people's livelihood, environmental protection and public security, it said.

Current problems in urban sewerage include outdated infrastructure, an emphasis on above-ground constructions over underground ones, as well as relatively poor operation and management, the statement said.

The State Council said the country will further open up market access, encourage and support private companies and organizations in stepping up the construction of urban sewage systems.

It added that China should also improve related laws and regulations to promote the construction and management of sewage systems according to law.

The draft regulation requires that planning for urban sewerage should keep up with plans for urban development, including those for roads and greenbelts.

New districts of cities must prioritize the construction of sewage systems and they should not be put into use without a system in place, according to the regulation.

The government should reinforce supervision of urban sewerage and the maintenance of related facilities, the regulation says.

It says local governments should raise their capabilities to prevent and control urban waterlogging, formulate emergency response plans and have measures in place to support areas that tend to get waterlogged.

The executive meeting also said the country will further promote the disclosure of information to raise the government's credibility and ensure people's rights to know, to participate and to supervise government.

Measures should be taken to make economic and social policies transparent and ensure that people can see, hear and supervise the government, the statement said.