(Text by Reporter Shi Danni) This year, units like the Shanghai Municipal River Chief Office, Shanghai Municipal Office of Spiritual Civilization Construction Commission, the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee of Construction and Transportation and the Shanghai Water Resources Foundation made joint efforts to conduct the first selection activity for selecting “the most beautiful riverways”. According to the list released recently, Zhongyanghu River in Jing’an District was honored as one of the 20 “most beautiful riverways” in Shanghai.
Located in the Shibei Hi-Tech Park of Jing’an District, Zhongyanghu River is about 775 m long and runs from east to west. Before the construction of Shibei Hi-Tech Park was commenced, it was a land on which a large area of private shanties was built. A mass of migrant people settled down here, illegally constructing houses along the Zhongyanghu River and throwing rubbish into it. As a result, Zhongyanghu River became black with odor and serious deposition problem. It looked like a dark and stinky ditch in poor conditions. Therefore, personnel of Shibei Hi-Tech Park had repeatedly proposed to landfill the Zhongyanghu River and build more roads and buildings.
However, the riverway management department of Jing’an District has communicated with personnel of Shibei Hi-Tech Park to publicize relevant policies and regulations, and help them learn about the environmental, social and economic benefits to the park after treating the Zhongyanghu River. Finally, leaders of Shibei Hi-Tech Park decided to support the riverway management department to carry out a comprehensive treatment for Zhongyanghu River. From April to December 2004, the Riverway Management Department of Jing’an District had conducted comprehensive riverway treatment engineering for Zhongyanghu River, building over 1,700 m revetment and cultivating plants with an area of 14,000m2. After the treatment engineering, Zhongyanghu River restored smooth riverway, clear water, green banks, no longer with dark color and stinky smell.
Since the initial success was achieved, leaders of Shibei Hi-Tech Park decided to engage in the long-term management of Zhongyanghu River, and raise funds to support landscaping and water treatment. With the support of riverway management department of Jing’an District, in-depth water treatment engineering including cultivating water plants, mechanical water circulation and aeration had been conducted to improve water quality and make Zhongyanghu River one of the few landscape riverways in Jing’an District. It also beautified the environment of Shibei Hi-Tech Park, attracting numerous well-known foreign and domestic enterprises like Kohler to settle in the park.
Along with the issue and implement of No.1 Central Document Focuses on Water Conservancy in 2011, the operation and maintenance of water conservancy facilities in Jing’an District were undergoing “fine” development to achieve the goal of “two full coverages and two normalizations” for long-term management of riverway. The riverway management department of Jing’an District had gained experience from practice, conducted innovation, enhanced the operation and maintenance of water conservancy facilities, introduced the third-party supervision, explored “3+1” riverway inspection mode and established “Volunteer Team for River Protection”, so as to improve the long-term management level of riverway. The clean-keeping and long-term management for the waterway were conducted to ensure that all sections of Zhongyanghu River had been treated. In 2015, the riverway management department of Jing’an District conducted river bank landscaping engineering, added more oxygen aeration equipment and cultivated more water plants to further improve the water quality and the surrounding environment. In 2016, Zhongyanghu River was honored as the “Three Star” riverway. In 2017, to improve the water quality of Zhongyanghu River, Shibei Hi-Tech Park implemented the Zhongyanghu River Water Environment Treatment Project to build a beautiful river with “underwater forest” by adhering to the idea of “underwater ecosystem construction” and improving water quality and water environment based on the current status of river conservancy project and water quality.
The change of Zhongyanghu River is the result of more than ten years of joint efforts by the riverway management department of Jing’an District and Shibei Hi-Tech Park. Zhongyanghu River has transformed from a black river with odor and few green plants and low water quality to a beautiful river with complete river bank infrastructure, countless green plants, attractive scenery and water up to Grade IV Standards. It is a process of turning an ugly duckling to a swan. Currently, Zhongyanghu River has become an ecological card of Shibei Hi-Tech Park, and Shibei Hi-Tech Park has transformed from a bystander to a beneficiary. They even introduced the experience of riverway treatment to enterprises in Nantong, hoping creating another “Zhongyanghu River” in Nantong.