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VOL. 52 NO.18 MAY 7, 2009
Newsletter> VOL. 52 NO.18 MAY 7, 2009
UPDATED: May 2, 2009 NO. 18 MAY 7, 2009
Smooth Reconstruction
Eighty percent of the reconstruction projects in Sichuan Province will be completed by the end of the year

Looking at the reconstruction plan, the rebuilding of the earthquake-hit areas is not simply a matter of restoring buildings to their original condition, but a scientific reconstruction focusing on integrating the city and the countryside so as to promote development during reconstruction.

Restored highway

Just after the earthquake, disaster relief workers faced huge difficulties because the highway between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan was destroyed. After tough efforts, a simple channel was built as a "lifeline" in the disaster-affected area.

Xinhua News Agency reported that important progress has been made on the reconstruction of the highway between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan, which became a landmark project for highway reconstruction after the earthquake. The main part of Longxi Tunnel, the key section of the project, was officially finished on April 24, and the remainder is still under construction. The highway between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan will open to traffic as scheduled on May 12, the first anniversary of the earthquake. At a total length of 82.54 km, the highway has a 25.95-km section of expressway between Dujiangyan and Yingxiu, the epicenter. The other 56.95-km section between Yingxiu and Wenchuan is a secondary highway. After the highway is opened to traffic on May 12, it will take only 15 minutes to reach Yingxiu from Dujiangyan, which will greatly accelerate the reconstruction work in earthquake-hit counties such as Wenchuan. Xu said 88 percent of the damaged roads are expected to be rebuilt by the end of this year.

Power facilities

The construction team of Dujiangyan Power Supply Co. under the State Grid Corp. of China is responsible for building power facilities for some schools, hospitals and roads in Dujiangyan. Wen Yong, head of the construction team, said that his main task was to ensure that electricity would reach the reconstructed schools by September. For the disaster-affected area, restored power supply is not only helpful for reconstruction, but also represents a symbol of normal life.

Wen said the task of supplying power is an arduous one in the reconstruction process, because there are clear standards for support facilities for schools and hospitals. In accordance with the requirements of the municipal government of Chengdu, all the schools in Dujiangyan must open by September 1. Wen said despite the pressure, his team remains confident that it will finish the task on time. During the earthquake, 13 members of the construction team died, and the other 27 assumed the workload much heavier than before. They completed 105 projects between May 12 last year and April 24 this year, Wen said.

Assisting farmers

Helping farmers restore production has been a major challenge during the reconstruction. Nearly 200,000 farmers in Sichuan lost their homes, cultivated land and woodland in the earthquake. To tackle the problem, Wei Hong, Deputy Governor of Sichuan Province, said at this year's session of the National People's Congress that the provincial government would first consider resettling the farmers locally or in nearby villages. The province will readjust its arrangement of land resources and resettle farmers who lost their houses and land in their own villages, nearby villages or townships within the same county. By the end of 2008, Sichuan had resettled 150,000 farmers who lost their homes and land in the earthquake.

The farmers also have the option of resettling in other counties or cities. The provincial government has worked out a plan to resettle farmers from two townships in Qingchuan County of Guangyuan City in the city's Jiange County and Yuanba District.

At present, the provincial government has proposed establishing a resettlement spot at the Yuanbaoshan Farm in Qionglai City. A preliminary assessment is in the works, and the local governments of earthquake-hit areas will organize a trip for farmers to visit the farm so that they can apply to resettle there.

Wei said the provincial government would make the resettlement of farmers who lost their land, especially those who lost all their land, a priority. The government encourages and supports local governments to adopt new ways of properly and effectively resettling farmers who lost their land.

Reconstruction Efforts

The province will give priority to the reconstruction of schools, hospitals and other public service facilities.

Throughout the province there are 9,145 schools to be rebuilt. In the 39 severely affected counties incorporated into the state plan, construction has already started on 1,780 schools, of which 220 have been completed. In the 12 severely affected counties incorporated into the provincial plan, construction has been started on 617 schools.

The province plans to rebuild 4,127 health care institutions, of which 1,951 have been carried out. In the meantime, 749 broadcasting and television, culture and sports projects have been started.

By the end of this year, Sichuan will try to finish 95 percent of the reconstruction plan for schools and health care institutions and accelerate construction on other public service facilities.

In terms of infrastructure and industrial reconstruction, the province has started 681 projects to rebuild highways, railways, civil aviation, telecommunications, energy and water conservation facilities. Another 3,141 projects related to industry, tourism and cultural facilities have been started. Among the 4,812 earthquake-affected industrial enterprises with annual sales revenue exceeding 5 million yuan ($732,064), 97.4 percent have restored production. About 94 percent of trade and service outlets have started operating again.

During the first post-quake Spring Festival holiday week at the end of January, the province received 16.57 million tourists, up 21.9 percent year on year, and earned revenue of 4.7 billion yuan ($688.14 million), an increase of 32.8 percent compared with the same period last year.

(Source: Sichuan Provincial Government)

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