Beijing will fund up to 5.2 billion yuan (about 742 million U.S. dollars) this year to help build a new town for quake-hit Shifang City in southwest China's Sichuan Province, said a local official in Shifang.
"The reconstruction fund from the Beijing municipal government will be used to build housing and public infrastructure," said Wu Renjie, vice mayor of Shifang on Tuesday.
Beijing is partnering Shifang in the disaster relief and reconstruction work, after the magnitude-8 earthquake jolted Sichuan on May 12, which killed at least 70,000 people.
About 95 percent of buildings in Shifang, one of the worst-hit cities, collapsed or were damaged in the quake, leaving 170,000 people homeless.
Beijing has sent over 100 architecture experts to help lay out the new urban design in Shifang, where prefab houses will be built to temporarily house the homeless.
The vice mayor said that over half of Beijing's funding will be used to build roads, and the rest to build schools, hospitals, water supply facilities and low-rent houses.
A total of 21 provinces and municipalities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Tianjin, have been involved to provide relief funds and materials such as housing, tents, medicine and food to heavily hit counties, including Dujiangyan, Shifang, Wenchuan, Mianzhu and Maoxian in Sichuan.
(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2008)