The government should conduct a nationwide survey on the urban sewage and drainage capacities of Chinese cities to know how much improvements are needed, said an article in the 21st Century Business Herald (excerpts below).
Dozens of people have drowned under overpasses or in flooded city streets during this year's rainy season because of the poor drainage networks in Chinese cities.
While promoting urbanization, the government must focus on building a reliable urban sewer network in cities and upgrade the network in old urban areas.
As more skyscrapers are built in cities, modern cities are holding more population per unit of area, which puts more stress on the sewage network. The increasingly frequent extreme weather is another reason for building sound drainage and sewage systems.
The problem is prevalent in China because government officials believe that limited money should be spent on impressive skyscrapers and city squares. The underground drainage system is very costly to build and to maintain, yet of little visual appeal to the people, especially to the higher authorities, who are responsible for approving the city construction funds.
Considering the mounting debts of local governments and the decline of government revenue this year, it is hard for the government to set aside enough money to rebuild the sewer systems in the near future. But the debt must be paid in the long run.
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