Published: Tuesday 29 February 2000

For the first time in decades, this August people can expect to find lakes and rivers in central Beijing cleaned up and sparkling with clear green water. Yan Changyuan, director of the Beijing Municipal Water Conservancy Bureau said that the work to clean up the lakes has been progressing smoothly.

"The main part of our two-year waterway renovation project is expected to wind up successfully before this August," Yan said. Aimed to have water flow again in the city's central areas, a phenomenon that has seldom been seen since the mid-1960s, the project was officially kicked off on April 20, 1998, with a budget of us $40.5 million.

Since swimming was forbidden in the river, the Beijing municipality started building seven large outdoor swimming pools last autumn to make summers easier for Beijingers.

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