BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — Beijing has been pouring money into the city of Shiyan, central China’s Hubei Province, a key waterhead area of the south-to-north water diversion project, according to an official of the city.
Wu Ye, vice mayor of the city, recently said that since the middle route of the project began supplying water to Beijing in December 2014, the municipal government of Beijing has invested a total of 1.35 billion yuan (193 million U.S. dollars) into Shiyan, implementing more than 400 projects, which has boosted the development of Shiyan’s economy and society.
The middle route, the most prominent of the three routes of the project due to its role in feeding water to the national capital, starts from the Danjiangkou Reservoir in central China’s Hubei Province and runs across Henan and Hebei before reaching Beijing and Tianjin.
Among the investment, more than 200 million yuan has been channeled to over 20 impoverished villages in Shiyan to help develop the local agricultural industry, benefiting more than 20,000 poor residents. In addition, more than 200 million yuan has been used to manage small river basins in the reservoir areas, restore the eco-system and improve the environment in rural areas, according to Wu.
Apart from government support, Beijing has been encouraging enterprises to strengthen cooperation with Shiyan. More than 160 Beijing companies have settled down there in the past five years, covering the sectors of energy, environmental protection, automobile accessories and food, said Zhang Xin, vice mayor of Shiyan.