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China unveils scheme to weed out illegal docks along Yangtze

Updated: Sep 27,2018 8:57 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has released a guideline on preventing the resurgence of illegal docks and unlawful sand dredging along the Yangtze River.

The policy paper, released by the leading group for promoting the development of the Yangtze River economic belt, pledges to significantly enhance supervision and management of docks along China’s longest river.

Driven by profit, people have built docks on the river without permission or supervision. Most of these docks are used for loading and unloading sand from dredging vessels. They take up space along the riverbank, hamper navigational routes and impede river safety.

Authorities started a crackdown on illegal docks and sand dredging in 2015. By the end of May this year, 1,254 out of the 1,361 illegal docks discovered along the Yangtze River had been dismantled, with the rest overhauled, according to Liu Dechun, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

To consolidate the results, supervision and law enforcement along the river will be more coordinated, while satellite remote sensing, big data and drones will be employed to improve monitoring, according to the guideline.

Local “river chiefs” will be responsible for the supervision and management of docks within their jurisdiction.

Restoration of the river’s ecological environment is high on the agenda in developing the Yangtze River economic belt, which covers 11 provinces and municipalities with an area around 2.05 million square kilometers. Both the population and economic aggregate of the economic belt exceed 40 percent of the national total.

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