BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China has made progress in addressing environmental misconduct at drinking water sources in cities along the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Monday.
In May 2016, the ministry began an operation to inspect the management of drinking water sources in the region to uncover problems and loopholes.
Of the 490 cases of environmental wrongdoing found during the operation, 383 had been rectified by the end of June, accounting for 78.2 percent of the total, the ministry said.
Local officials are required to address all problems by the end of this year.
The ministry has urged faster work to accomplish the task and a better long-term mechanism for protecting the drinking water sources to be put in place.
Stretching from southwest China's Yunnan Province to Shanghai, the Yangtze River Economic Belt covers nine provinces and two municipalities in an area of 2.05 million square kilometers.
In 2014, China made it a national strategy to develop the economic belt. The move was expected to boost concerted development in riverside regions and provide new growth stimuli for China's slowing economy.
Authorities have stressed that environmental protection should be a priority in the development of the belt, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the country's population and economic aggregate.