Five cities have been barred from launching projects that risk causing water pollution after they failed to meet pollution control targets, Xinhua news agency reported Monday, citing a spokesman of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The districts and counties of Siping, Hefei, Liu’an, and Kunming as well as Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture have failed to meet the standards set in the five-year water pollution control guidelines released in 2012. Under the plan, the government will allocate 500 billion yuan (US$82 billion) to fight water pollution in major drainage areas from 2011 to 2015, up from 300 billion yuan in the previous five-year period. The country’s water pollution situation remains “grave”, the ministry spokesman said, adding that pollution control efforts have been hampered by the shortage and poor use of wastewater treatment facilities.
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