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Beichuan rolls up sleeves, prepares to rebuild

[ 2009-05-06 10:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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A high-profile ceremony to kick off the reconstruction of Beichuan is set for next Monday, according to local sources. Beichuan was the most severely damaged township in last May's Sichuan earthquake.

State leaders are expected to join the ceremony, Zhang Yan, one of 98 gardeners selected to arrange decorations for the event, told China Daily yesterday.

"I'm very glad to have the chance to contribute to this ceremony, which will get worldwide attention," she said.

Decorations with "vivid ethnic Qiang characteristics" will be completed on Friday, Zhang said. A parking lot "five times the size of a basketball court" has been designated for the massive ceremony, she added.

Beichuan, China's only autonomous county for the Qiang ethnic group, accounted for nearly a quarter of the overall confirmed death toll. Almost 20,000 local residents died or were declared missing after the disaster.

It also suffered a direct economic loss of some 65 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) from the quake, which flattened 36,000 local houses.

Beichuan's new county seat is 2.5 km east of Anchang town in Anxian county and 23 km from the original site. Anchang River, which runs through new Beichuan, will divide it in half, deputy county chief He Wang told China Daily.

Anchang town itself will also become part of Beichuan seat, earlier reports have said.

The focus of recent construction projects is on the east side of the river, while land on its west bank will be reserved for development in the mid- to long-term, according to He.

Current construction efforts involve the relocation of 2,395 rural households, of which more than 96 percent have signed contracts with the government, he said.

At an estimated 7 sq km, the new town is expected to have 50,000 residents in 2015 and 70,000 in 2020, he said.

For that to happen, earlier reports say some 15,300 residential apartments will have to be built in the next 11 years.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Beichuan rolls up sleeves, prepares to rebuild

About the broadcaster:

Beichuan rolls up sleeves, prepares to rebuild

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.