Clean-up costs

Published: Thursday 31 July 1997

-- Ecological devastation in China is rampant: acrid, blackened air in industrial cities; rain that turns inky and corrosive with acidity; noxious mounds of untreated garbage and hazardous sludge spewed out by millions of township enterprises; dead fish in the Huaihe river; carbon dioxide emissions that account for one-tenth of the global total. Yet, China spent just US $6.3 billion (Rs 22,680 crore) on environment-related projects in 1996 -- a fraction of what it needs to spend to clean up the mess. Environmentalists forecast that the actual annual spending on the environment will be close to US $13 billion (Rs 46,800 crore) by AD 2000 -- still much less than what advanced countries spend on a per capita basis.

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