Premier Li Keqiang talks with residents at the Xiaobeiguan shantytown in Taiyuan city, Shanxi province, Jan 4, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]
Residents at the Xiaobeiguan shantytown in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, are soon moving into new buildings provided by the local government.
On Feb 22, China’s Lantern Festival, Zhang Chunlian, a local resident at the shantytown, received rice dumplings sent by the Xiaobeiguan community. “This year is the last time we celebrate the festival here,” she said. The 53-year-old has lived in the community for more than 30 years, and always hoped that one day she could live in a warm house.
Now her dream comes true as the local government is making efforts to renovate the city’s shantytowns that shelter 20,000 households and cover one million square meters. The project will be finished within two years.
Xiaobeiguan shantytown was built in the 1950s, with 900 households sharing only one water tap, one public toilet, and no heating or sewer systems. The area’s density makes it an unattractive site for new development.
“I moved here when I was 18 years old, and the living conditions have not changed at all,” said Li Fanyu, a 78-year-old resident.
The local government took on the project to help improve people’s living environment.
Community workers are also preparing for the relocation as Meng Qingling, director of the Xiaobeiguan community, said that preliminary work has been done and the move will officially begin on Feb 25.