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Firm coughs up $ 63,000 for damaging Great Wall

The firm has forked out $ 63,776 for "deliberately" damaging a section of the Great Wall.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2006 11:01 IST

A Chinese construction firm has forked out USD 63,776as fine for "deliberately" damaging a section of the Great Wall, one of the seven wonders of the world.

Hongji Landbridge Investment Development Inc paid the fineon Sundayafter China's first regulation on the protection of the Great Wall came into effect last Friday.

The law prohibits the removal of soil or bricks from the Wall, planting trees, carving on the wall or building anything that does not protect it. It also bans the use of vehicles on the world heritage site and unauthorised tourism activities.

The erring company began construction of a highway through a section of the Great Wall in Ulanqab City in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, without government approval in March.

Regional cultural heritage protection officials said the company refused to halt construction even after warnings.

Wang Dafang, an official with the regional cultural heritage bureau, said the construction led to the demolition of large sections of the Great Wall and three ancient villages under government protection.

The Great Wall stretches more than 6,700 km from west to northeast China and dates back to the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), when separate sections were built in scattered strategic areas to defend against northern nomadic tribes.

Experts said the Wall has suffered extensive natural and human damage in recent years. Only 30 per cent of the Wall built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) still stands.

Individuals violating the law are fined USD 1,276 to USD 6,378 while institutions can face a penaly of USD 6,378 to USD 63,776.

First Published: Dec 04, 2006 11:01 IST