The kick-off ceremony for the Yantong Irrigation Project was held on Oct 16 in Datong, launching a key project in Shanxi’s irrigation network construction.

With an investment of 1.6 billion yuan ($159 million), the project will cover approximately 77.82 mu (5.2 hectares). It will stretch west into southern Datong; the eastern border will reach the Hebei boundary and run from Huairen county up to Mapu Mountain, Datong Daily reported.

The project is scheduled to be completed in three years. After completion, the project will integrate old dispersed irrigation areas, establish new irrigation areas and streamline the whole system. Furthermore, water resources in Datong will be optimized, facilitating farm work and improving the quality of urban water supply. The project will bring both economic and social benefits to Datong.

Both the central and provincial governments have paid great attention to the project. The “First Document”, the first policy issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council every year, has focused on rural development for 10 consecutive years. To implement national strategy, the Shanxi Irrigation Network project was launched last April to resolve water shortage problems, which have long stifled Shanxi’s agricultural progress and sustainable development.

Pan Junfeng, general of the Water Resources Department of Shanxi province; Feng Lixiang, Datong’s Party chief; and Wang Yebing, provincial head engineer of the Development and Reform Commission, attended the ceremony.

Pan said the provincial government will instruct project details along the way, establish comprehensive regulations, and coordinate all parties to ensure the project moves forward smoothly. Feng, speaking on behalf of the Datong government, promised to prioritize the project in the government agenda and go to great lengths to complete the project successfully.

Source: China Daily Oct 2012

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