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Authorities in Shaanxi province have launched a campaign to restore natural areas in six cities at the foot of Qinling Mountain, according to a local government statement released on Thursday.
Priority will be given to Xi"an, the provincial capital, the statement said. Other cities involved are Shangluo, Ankang, Hanzhong, Baoji and Weinan.
Xi"an has demolished more than a thousand illegal luxury villas since July at the northern foot of Qinling - a natural boundary between China"s north and south and home to a huge variety of plant and animal life.
The latest move aims to strengthen the achievements of the demolition campaign and the conservation of Qinling"s environment, the statement added.
Those involved in enforcement include the province"s departments of natural resources, environment and ecology, housing and construction, water resources, forestry administration and the Qinling office of the province"s development and reform commission.
Rectification will be required in cases of illegal construction, tree farming, hunting and waste discharges. All mandated remedies should be completed by the end of June, according to the restoration plan.
By the end of 2020, mines and small hydropower stations in Qinling"s protected areas should be eliminated and their environmental impacts repaired.
Religious sites, tourist projects and homestays in the area also will be more closely supervised, it added.
Officials with the Qinling office of the province"s development and reform commission had not replied by press time to China Daily"s faxed questions about details of measures to strengthen project management in Qinling. The office is responsible for coordinating the restoration campaign.
The restoration work follows the extensive demolition of villa projects in Qinling and a political reshuffling in Shaanxi that has seen over 1,000 officials held accountable for either corruption or inaction.
High-ranking officials investigated include Zhao Zhengyong, the province"s former Party chief, and Wei Minzhou, a former senior legislator in Shaanxi.
Many unapproved villas had been built on Qinling"s northern side since 1997, replacing farms and forests and causing pollution, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The central leadership urged local authorities to deal with the problem as early as 2014.
Local officials launched a campaign in the same year that saw 202 illegal buildings dismantled or confiscated. But they were later found to be mainly the unapproved buildings of local farmers, while the villas remained untouched.
Local authorities failed to take action despite repeated prodding from the central leadership in years that followed. Some of the illegal real estate projects began during that time as well, according to People"s Daily.
In August, the central government sent a group to fix the problems and vowed to hold accountable anyone found violating laws and regulations. A total of 1,194 luxury villas have been demolished or confiscated since.
Huo Yan contributed to this story.custom goyard braceletpink breast cancer silicone wristbandsanimal bracelets rubber bandscheap silicone wristbands canadadesign your own silicone wristband online