By Wang Qian (China Daily)
BEIJING - China may forbid projects that cause water and soil erosion following frequent geological disasters that have rampaged the country this year.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, started its first reading of the draft amendment to the Water and Soil Conservation Law on Monday in a bid to protect the country's fragile environment.
The draft amendment is based on the country's experience with water and soil conservation over the past two decades as well as field investigations in Sichuan and Guangdong provinces.
Zhou Ying, vice-minister of water resources, told legislators that construction and production projects will be limited in order to protect plants and soil in fragile areas.
The draft amendment strictly forbids the destruction of forests and digging of holes in the ground in areas with serious water and soil erosion problems.
Companies and individuals damaging the environment must either plant trees or pay a water and soil conservation fee, it says.
If a construction project is not assessed by local authorities, the developer will be slapped with a fine from 50,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan ($7,350 to $29,410), the draft says.