All illegal docks along the Yangtze River will be shut down by the end of this year, a Chinese official said Wednesday.
A seminar on illegal docks and dredging along China's longest river was held in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, on Wednesday.
By the end of July, 1,361 illegal docks had been discovered along the Yangtze and 949 of them had been shut down, said Zhou Xiaoqi, deputy head of the primary industry bureau at the National Development and Reform Commission.
He told attendees to the seminar the rest will be shut down by the end of this year.
Driven by profit, people have built docks on the river without permission or supervision. Most of these docks are used for loading and unloading sand from dredging vessels.
The illegal docks take up space along the riverbank, hamper navigational routes and impede river safety. They have also done significant damage to the environment along the river course, Zhou said.
Some 600,000 people live near Wuhan's Yujiatou water treatment plant. Last year, there were more than 10 illegal docks within a 1.6-kilometer stretch of riverbank. Residents built makeshift buildings near the docks where they bred poultry, endangering the tap water supply from the plant.
All of the illegal docks and buildings near the treatment plant have been dismantled this year.
"Provinces and cities along the river course need to take more resolute and thorough actions to make sure all the illegal docks are dismantled by the end of September," Zhou said.