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Kunming to spend nearly $20 billion on infrastructure in 2009

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For much of Kunming, 2008 has been characterized by the sounds of demolition and new construction – next year will be more of the same, as the city is planning on spending 135 billion yuan (US$19.7 billion) on infrastructure upgrades, according to a Kunming Daily report citing government officials.

The major projects on next year's agenda are focused on two of Kunming's biggest developmental issues: traffic and pollution. Some of the bigger projects in which the municipal government will be investing in the coming months include:

• Construction of an experimental section of the Kunming urban light rail

• Construction of a third ring road for Kunming which will link up with the Caohai area north of Dianchi Lake plus the national highway network

• Pollution reduction work and environmental cleanup for the Yudai, Zhuantang and Xiba canals

• Construction of the Luolong Canal Wastewater Treatment Plant and wastewater treatment network

• Reviving the aquatic ecosystems around Dianchi Lake

• Implementation of a Dianchi wetlands renewal project

• A new hazardous materials/dangerous goods disposal center

• Construction of a solar power base in Shilin

A new unified project examination and approval system will also be implemented to streamline examination, approval and management of the infrastructure projects. Part of the system will focus on land use and environmental impact. According to the Kunming Daily, there will also be an emphasis on preventing "redundant construction, blind development, excessive consumption and high-polluting projects".

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