China to flatten 700 mountains to create new mega-city

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 10:51 hrs

London: China's Communist Party has announced an audacious plan to flatten 700 mountains to make way for a new super-city.

In what is being dubbed the biggest mountain-moving project in the country's history, the ambitious scheme will see a metropolis created 50 miles from the city of Lanzhou in the northwest of China.

Demolishing the desolate mountains in the country's Gansu province will cost developers 2.2 billion pounds, but, according to the state-run newspaper The China Daily, more than seven billion pounds of corporate investment has already been invested, the Daily Mail reports.

The project is the first planned for the country's interior and the fifth of the so-called state-level development zones.

The scheme, which was reported in the China Economic Weekly on Tuesday, was given the green light by authorities in August.

However, it has raised concerns from environmentalists who point out that Lanzhou which is home to 3.6 million people who work alongside the Yellow River is already considered one of the most polluted places in the world, the report added.

According to the report, Liu Fuyuan, who previously worked as a high-ranking official at the country's National Development and Reform Commission, told China Economic Weekly that the project was unsuitable because Lanzhou is frequently listed as among China's most chronically water-scarce municipalities.

The project is due to start in October next year with the first construction to be a new urban district of almost 10 square miles, the report said.

Multi-millionaire developer Yan Jiehe's company, China Pacific Construction Group, is in charge of the work and China's second wealthiest man has dismissed suggestions that the project is flawed financially and environmentally, it added.

According to the report, a promotional video posted on the Lanzhou new area website shows a digitally-rendered cityscape of gleaming skyscrapers and leafy parks.

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