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Major advances made revitalizing Beijing outskirts

Updated: Dec 4, 2017 Print
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Beijing is continuing to undertake a range of sweeping measures to build, renovate and revitalize its beautiful villages - and officials say it has made great progress in improving living conditions and the capital's appearance in recent years.

In the current year, the Beijing government started construction of another 300 new villages.

From 2006-12 the capital completed road-hardening work covering an area of over 100 million square meters, built 133 water supply plants and installed more than 35,000 kilometers of water pipes as well as 5,611 km of drainage pipes in rural areas.

Officials said a total of 6,522 public toilets, 780,000 family toilets and 476 garbage treatment stations were built that reached set standards. 

In addition, government departments installed 300,000 streetlights and 1,300 solar-powered public bathrooms, and greened areas by planting trees - in a program which improved infrastructure and the appearance and environment of Beijing's suburbs.

The Chinese capital's official winter heating season begins on Nov 15 and ends on March 15, when the municipal government turns on Beijing's central heating. Officials said that last year a total of 1,336 villages achieved their goal of not using coal, instead adopting clean energy for cooking and for residents to keep warm.

This year, the capital plans to complete the replacement of coal with clean energy in 700 more villages.

That will help villages in seven districts - Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Fangshan, Tongzhou and Daxing - to realize zero air pollution, neutralizing smog caused by burning coal.

"One of the key projects is to protect traditional villages and upgrade rural houses with energy conservation systems and anti-seismic measures, so as to guarantee the preservation of rural culture," a government official said.

It has been estimated that by the end of 2017, all of Beijng's rural housing will have reached official energy-saving standards and some 670,000 residences will be both quakeproof and energy-saving.

"Although village environments have been improved, there remains a gap between them and the living standards of leading international cities," officials said.

"We still have lots of work to do."

They said more efforts will be needed in other villages, which have not yet reached official standards.

These, officials said, have poorer infrastructure and environmental conditions.

The Beijing municipal government said it plans to tackle illegal buildings on the city's outskirts and speed up the planning in villages to strengthen the management and control of village buildings.

The government said it will increase investment in infrastructure maintenance in the future.

According to the government working plan, the entire village construction program should be completed by the end of 2020.

It includes increasing farmers' incomes and narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas. 


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