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Post-quake Rebuilding Rule Focuses on Public Structures

A regulation on reconstruction in the areas damaged in the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake focuses on the quality of public buildings.

The regulation stipulates that schools, hospitals, stadiums, libraries and other high-occupancy public buildings that were destroyed should be rebuilt to meet higher quake-resistance criteria than those of ordinary buildings.

"All the measures that the regulation covers will help ensure the safety and quality of the reconstruction," Cao Kangtai, director of the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office, said in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.

The regulation states that high-occupancy public buildings also include museums, theaters, department stores and large transport stations, which will be rebuilt under more stringent supervision.

An earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale hit southwest China's Sichuan Province last month and destroyed thousands of school buildings.

According to the regulation, governments above the county level are responsible for carrying out evaluations of public buildings, facilities and infrastructure that were seriously damaged by the quake and preserving relevant data and samples.

If the evaluations find the projects had quality problems, the projects' sponsors, designers, builders and supervisors will be punished according to the law, it said.

Anyone suspected of giving or taking bribes will face criminal charges, it added.

(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2008)

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