“China disguises motorway as vegetable patch”

The Telegraph, on the ridiculous things local governments will to do save their skins:

The new road, in a suburb of Xiangyang city, Hubei province, was built illegally earlier this year and was quickly spotted on satellite maps of the area.

Instructions were sent from Beijing to tear up the road and return the land to local farmers, but instead of complying, local officials decided to try to hide the road.

They covered its surface with plastic sheets and then spread a thin layer of soil over the top, in which they planted vegetables. The ruse worked for about a month, until angry farmers, whose land had been seized, reported the trick to the government.

“The workers turned up in May, dug up our crops and just laid the road over our land,” said Mao Huancheng, a farmer. “They never gave us any compensation for the land. And then they spread the earth to try to avoid a national inspection and trick the higher-up officials,” he added.

The deputy director of the district said that the road was a vital link to a new industrial park, which was supposed to attract investment to the area. However, it has now been demolished and the local government faces a hefty fine.

Last September, officials in the central province of Shaanxi attempted to make an area blighted by stone quarries look like it had been planted with trees by painting the mountains green. “This is very advanced, we learned how to do it from the internet,” said a spokesman from the local mining office.

Well, if the internet said it’s ok…

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Filed under China, development, local governments

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