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5 cities barred from water-polluting projects

New projects that risk causing water pollution will not be approved in counties and districts of five Chinese cities after they failed to meet pollution control targets, a spokesman with the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Monday.

The districts and counties of cities of Siping, Hefei, Liu’an, and Kunming as well as Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture have failed to meet the standards set in a five-year water pollution control guideline released in 2012.

The decision to call off such projects was made after the ministry evaluated the implementation of two water pollution control guidelines that cover China’s major drainage areas including the Yangtze River and Yellow River.

Under the plans, the Chinese government will allocate 500 billion yuan (82 billion U.S. dollars) for prevention and control of water pollution in major drainage areas from 2011 to 2015, up from 300 billion yuan for the previous five-year period.

The water pollution situation remains “grave,” the ministry spokesman said, adding that the implementation of some pollution control projects was not efficient enough and there was widespread pollution in rural areas.

Cities’ pollution control efforts are hampered by the shortage and poor use of wastewater treatment facilities, he added.

China unveiled the 2011-2015 guideline on fighting water pollution in 2012, setting the goal that 60 percent of the country’s major rivers and lakes should be clean enough to be sources of drinking water supply by the end of 2015.

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