The Shanghai Municipal Government on Feb 6 released a list of local government officials who have been appointed as river chiefs to lead a drive to clean up and better protect its water resources.
Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong is the general river chief for the municipality, while Party chiefs and heads of 16 districts will serve as river chiefs and second-in-command for their respective administrative regions.
Shanghai Deputy Mayor Chen Yin is river chief for the major bodies of water in the municipality, such as the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek, while heads of the districts the rivers run through will take on the role of local river chiefs, responsible for the management and protection of the watercourses in their administrative regions.
For smaller bodies of water, heads of the districts where a river lies will be river chiefs, with the head government officials at local subdistrict or township level second-in-command.
River recourse management and protection will be included as a metric for assessing governors at different levels, and anyone whose neglect of duty has severe consequences shall accept responsibility and step down from their position, Bai Tinghui, director of the Shanghai Water Authority, said during a news briefing on Feb 6.
“Signs displaying who is responsible for rivers, including their work phone numbers, will be erected beside each river, while hotline numbers for social supervision will also be included,” Bai said.
He added that the entire name list of river chiefs for every single body of water, including small ponds and lakes in parks and residential communities, within the municipality will be published before the end of this year.
Shanghai’s goals for water treatment and environmental protection include eliminating all dirty and odorous small bodies of water by the end of this year.
“We will target bodies of water with a transparency of less than 25 centimeters; those which are odorous; and those which we receive repeated complaints about from the public,” said Liu Xiaotao, deputy director of the Shanghai Water Authority.
Bai added that suburban areas now face more severe problems of polluted water.
“The key approaches to tackling the problem include demolishing illegal constructions along rivers and tightening surveillance of waste discharge from industrial enterprises, livestock and poultry farms, and restaurants on the banks of rivers,” he said.