Friday, February 23, 2007

Officials Paint Mountain Green

Local government officials in China have been criticised for spraypainting a barren mountain face green.

Laoshou mountain, near Fumin in Yunnan province, was left an eyesore by quarrying.

But instead, of re-foresting the mountainside, forestry officials hired seven workers for 45 days to spraypaint it green.

Nearby villagers have been driven from their homes by the strong smell of paint,

Some villagers speculated that Fumin County officials, whose office building faces the mountain, were trying to change the area’s feng shui — the ancient Chinese belief of harmonizing one’s physical environment for maximum health and financial benefit.

A woman who answered the phone at the Fumin County forestry department said the department was unaware of reasons behind the paint job.

"This is an order from above," she said.

China's official Xinhua News Agency estimated the cost of the paint job at 470,000 yuan ($60,000) and quoted villagers as saying that, if spent on plants and trees, the money could have restored a far greater area of barren mountain.,,2012697,00.html

Contributed by the videoddgrapher

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