China to raze 700 mountains BEIJING: Land-hungry Chinese authorities plan to flatten 700 mountains in Gansu province to create a city for attracting foreign investment to the area that connects four relatively-backward provinces with the rest of the country. This follows the recent demolition of two million tombs in Henan province to reclaim 2,000 hectares of land for agricultural and developmental projects. The move had created uproar and forced the central government to curb such moves in future. The mountain-flattening , to be carried out in an area 70km from Lanzhou city, has raised concerns among environmentalists , who fear it might damage the topography of the region, which have few mountains amid thousands of square miles of sand dunes. Some reports said the work had begun in October. "The establishment of the Lanzhou New Area marks the country's latest effort to accelerate development of the western regions," said top official Qin Yucai. "The area will serve as a pilot zone for the nation's economic restructuring efforts and as a strategic platform for opening up the western regions.'' The move will create 700 sq miles of leveled land, and cost over $3 billion. The government has managed to rope in Nanjing-based China Pacific Construction Group to execute the project. China to raze 700 mountains - The Times of India ********************************** What does anyone make of this lunacy?