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Han River Eco-economic Belt is “one belt” in the “two-circle and two-belt” strategy of Hubei Province and also an integral part of “Yangtze River Economic Zone” strategy of the state. On June 15, Publicity Department of Hubei Provincial Party Committee convened the press conference on “one overall and four special” plans of Hubei Han River Eco-economic Belt to generally report the blueprints to the media.

In October, 2013, in order to ensure transportation of clear water to the north and plan the sustainable development of middle and lower reaches of Han River after water transfer of the middle line project of south-to-north water transfer, Hubei Provincial Party Committee and Government, considering general development of the province, put forward opening and development strategy for Hubei Han River Eco-economic Belt and first established “one overall and four special” planning system. “One overall plan” is Overall Plan of Opening and Development of Hubei Han River Eco-economic Belt and “four special plans” are ecological and environmental protection plan, ecological water conservancy plan, ecological agriculture plans and eco-cultural tourism plan of Hubei Han River Eco-economic Belt. As the middle and lower areas will face the serious situation of reduction of water volume by 30% after implementation of middle line project of south-to-north water transfer and water transfer project from Han River to Weihe River, new challenge against water pollution control in middle and lower areas of Han River will appear.

According to the introduction of Xu Xinqiao, Deputy Director of Hubei Provincial Development Strategy Planning Office, the scope of overall plan covers 39 counties (districts) of 10 cities (forest regions) in Han River basin and an area of 63,000km2 where 22,362,800 permanent residents lived in 2013. In view of the areas passed by water transfer project of Yangtze River to Han River and water resource allocation project of northern Hubei, Jingzhou District in Jingzhou City, Guangshui in Suizhou City and Xiaochang County and Dawu County in Xiaogan City are included in the area affected by the plan.

According to the plan, Han River and Wuhan-Shiyan Section of Wuhan-Xi’an passenger railway line will be taken as the double axes of the framework of general layout to quickly form a spatial development pattern with “one railway and one waterway” neck-and-neck; key points of upstream and downstream development of the dam at Danjiangkou hydro-junction will be defined to promote harmonious development of cities, countries, population, economy, resources and environment in Han River Eco-economic Belt. By 2025, Hubei Han River Eco-economic Belt will be developed into “green Han River”, “prosperous Han River”, “happy Han River”, “peaceful Han River” and “unblocked Han River”.

13 categories of areas including natural conservation area, drinking water conservation area and important water source conservation area will be listed in the ecological red line areas and protected according to the overall plan. Industrial pollution will be comprehensively controlled, rainwater and sewage in new urban areas will be separately drained and separate collection system of domestic wastes will be gradually implemented.

In respect of water conservancy, water resource allocation project in Northern Hubei will be completed to actively promote Phase II of water transfer project from Yangtze River to Han River and cascade development and channel improvement of Han River will be completed to let the middle and lower reaches have three-level navigation capacity. In respect of railway, Wuhan-Xi’an passenger railway line and Xiangyang-Yichang interurban railway project construction will be completed to form an interurban and regional fast railway network. In respect of highway, the layout of “six longitudinal expressways and four transverse expressways” will be formed in Han River Eco-economic Belt to let expressway pass through counties. In respect of airport, a regional civil airport layout system with reasonable layout and perfect function will be established. (Liu Wei)