China has promulgated a regulation on reconstruction following the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake disaster.
It was the first of its kind in the country, specially for a single massive quake, designed to lead the reconstruction work into a legal orbit.
Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday signed a State Council order to make it effective. Xinhua was authorized to publish the regulation Monday.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, passed a draft of the regulation at an executive meeting last week.
The regulation, which set guidelines for the reconstruction, provided an important legal ground for the rebuilding work of various departments and quake-hit regions, said a spokesman of the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council.
He said the regulation was to ensure sound life, production, study and working conditions in quake-affected regions.
Covering nine chapters and 80 stipulations, it included the transitional settlement of quake-hit people, reconstruction planning, assessment, financing, policies, supervision and management and legal obligations.
It also put forward special requirements on earthquake-resistance levels of infrastructure construction in the quake-hit regions, including schools and hospitals.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular last week that infrastructure restoration was a priority in the post-quake reconstruction.
Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, the circular said.
According to the regulation, related departments should properly arrange the location of temporary housing and their supporting facilities and distribution of funds and materials.
The temporary settlements should occupy farmland as little as possible, and avoid causing destruction to natural reserves, drinking water sources and vulnerable ecological areas.
The settlements should be put in safe areas with convenient traffic and equipped with water, power, roads, schools, toilets, medical and cultural facilities. The building materials must be of safe quality.
It was also made clear that governments at all levels should regularly publicize the source, amount, distribution and use of relief capital and goods and receive public supervision.
Auditing organs should strengthen their checking over the reconstruction capital and goods and regularly make them open to public scrutiny.
While helping resume production, local governments should offer quake victims psychological counseling, the regulation said.
As of Monday noon, the 8.0-magnitude quake that rocked the southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12 had taken 69,142 lives, injured 374,065 people, left 17,551 missing and 46.25 million affected.
(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2008)