Ancient village demolished to make way for coal mining

( ) Updated: 2015-02-04 11:34:12

Ancient village demolished to make way for coal mining

Zezhou county in Shanxi province is rich in historical treasure that dated back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.[Photo/IC]

Banpo, an ancient village in Zezhou county, Shanxi province was known for its rich historic legacy and was listed as a Municipal Degree Cultural Relic Protection Unit in 2007. But in the same year, it was completely demolished by the local government in the name of coal mining, which aroused a wave of condemnation from local residents as well as the general public.

There were over 60 ancient residences that dated back to the Ming and Qing dynasties in Banpo village, so the reason behind the forced demolition is worth pondering.

According to a recent report by CCTV, it turned out that the local government struck a deal with a local mining company, Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group, if the government could move Banpo village, which covers an area of 32 acres. The mining company could then excavate over 300 tons of coal from the site, which could be translated into over 1.5 billion yuan in profit for the local economy.

Therefore, it was the chance to make money that prompted the local government to make the decision to relocate nearly 200 residents and demolish the whole village. In the mindset of local officials, economic gain far outweighed the protection of ancient architecture.

It is more than a shame to destroy a place with so much historical treasure, it is also a misuse of local resources. Ancient villages, after proper renovation, can become renowned tourist sites which can bring both fame and economic return, there are more than a few cases that can prove this, such as Lijiang, Wuzhen and Huizhou.

After all, it is all about a sensible mindset for development.

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