Beijing, Dec 5 (IANS/EFE) Authorities in the Chinese province of Gansu have built a wall on the curb along a highway for the sole purpose of concealing a small village and "hiding its impoverished living conditions", a media report said.
The village, near the city of Dingxi, is now separated from motorists by a wall 2 meters high and 5 km long, though it does have openings every 4 meters so locals can get out to the highway, the official People's Daily said Tuesday.
Construction of the wall began in October, and residents were told it was a "project to relieve poverty," but weeks later they were astounded to learn that the project consisted only of a wall to spare motorists the sight of their poverty.
"We believe the only purpose of this wall is to keep the peasants' ugly homes out of sight," an area resident said, while another mentioned that the authorities "promised to repair the outside of our houses, but all they wanted was to keep anyone from seeing our pigs and chickens".
Asked about the controversial project, a spokesman for the district government said that they weren't responsible for the wall and had not even approved it, adding that higher officials had possibly ordered it.
But another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the South China Morning Post that the wall was "part of the improvements and beautification of National Highway 212", whose purpose was none other than to "make the road look nice".