River chiefs in Luohu key to tackle water pollution
Luo Yude, Party chief of Luohu district, issued his second order as the general river chief of the district in mid-September. Luo urge all river chiefs and relevant parties to make an all-out effort to clean all heavily polluted water bodies and improve the overall water environment in the district.
The river chief is a title given to a person, local government heads in most cases, who is responsible for keeping local rivers clean. It stems from an environmental protection mechanism implemented by authorities of various levels following the call of the CPC Central Committee in recent years to urge officials to take environmental protection seriously.
Luohu vowed to resolve the long-term problem of water pollution, which many see as a chronic urban disease, within this year, and to improve the natural and living environment along the rivers markedly.
The district government has set aside 980 million yuan ($137 million) for it and aims to turn clean water into Luohu’s name card.
Surveys show that Luohu’s ecological environment has improved since it carried out the river chief system.
In Luohu, river chiefs are required to conduct regular patrol along the rivers they are in charge of to look for the sources and causes of environmental pollution. They are obliged to report to local government departments about their findings, coordinate their work to address pollution, and hold polluters accountable.
They are also encouraged to raise public awareness of environmental protection in the hope that residents can take the initiative to look after the rivers.
Statistics show the river chiefs in the district have conducted 3,798 patrols along the rivers and found 743 problems this year.