BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The central government on Wednesday called for faster construction of upgraded drainage systems across the country to cope with urban flooding.
Local governments should plan the building of underground utility corridors to help with flood prevention and control, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said in a public notice.
Underground utility corridors refer to tunnels that carry electricity, water, heating and sewer pipes as well as telecommunications and television cables, all laid underground.
The ministry said that cities should integrate underground utility corridors with construction projects, as part of their urban planning to build modern sewer systems with efficient drainage.
Despite looking shiny and modern, Chinese cities are weak in their underground infrastructure. During extreme downpours, many cities are easily flooded.
The government will encourage private capital to participate in the construction and operation of the utility tunnels, said the notice.
According to a timetable released by government last October, 20 percent of China's cities should have modern sewer and drainage systems by 2020, with the number rising to 80 percent by 2030.