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The Plan for Reconstruction of Beichuan County Released
    2008-06-09 09:56:19     CRIENGLISH.com

  Anchor: Sichuan Province's Beichuan County was severely damaged by last month's massive earthquake and the original site of the downtown area is no longer suitable for rebuilding. However, architects and urban planners have made a thorough reconstruction plan and the central government vows that a new Beichuan will be born within three years.

Our reporter Liu Yan has the details.

After the May 12th earthquake, Beichuan County was left in ruins. Nearly all the buildings in the downtown area had collapsed or were seriously damaged. Architects say the original site cannot be rebuilt so they have decided to relocate the county to another district.

Li Xiaojiang is the director of the China Academy for Urban Planning and Design.

"We hope that the new site has better geological conditions for rebuilding and will provide the new county better economic opportunities. We want the new town to become a powerhouse of the local economy."

Before making the final choice, experts and local officials worked together to assess the overall conditions of the surrounding areas.

Song Ming, a local official in Beichuan County, explains the requirements for the new site.

"We have conducted a thorough assessment. First, the new site should be geologically safe with a stable and solid earth crust. Second, space for further development must be considered. The new site should have enough open ground and sufficient water resources."

After a careful and strict investigation of five separate places, the urban planners have settled on a new site that meets all their requirements.

Li Xiaojiang says the new district will be built with the long-term interests of the local farmers in mind.

"In the worst-hit regions, we must consider the best arrangement for farm production and the farmers' lives. This area lacks arable land, so we must first restore the local natural environment. And this could take up to one year."

In addition, preserving the area's unique local culture is also a priority for the reconstruction work.

Li Xiaojiang says it is of great significance.

"Beichuan is the only autonomous county in China for the Qiang ethnic group. We are determined to preserve the Qiang culture in the new county. This is an important and new problem we are facing."

As for the original site of the devastated county, an earthquake museum will be built to commemorate the victims. Over half of the 22,000 residents in the downtown area lost their lives in the deadly earthquake.

Liu Yan, CRI news.




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