The government will spend between W10 trillion and W20 trillion to clean up and improve around 90 tributaries of Korea's four major rivers by 2015 (US$1=W1,095). The project is expected to begin in June, when dredging and reinforcement of riverbed on the four-rivers mega project is complete.
The plan will be announced Friday once it has been reviewed by a Presidential committee.
Critics are concerned that the government is scrapping a W10 trillion plan to build a new airport in southeastern Korea while at the same time pushing ahead with the W20 trillion waterways project. The cost of improving the tributaries is almost equal to the W22 trillion spent on the entire four-rivers project.
A government official said the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs will oversee the 43 tributaries that flow directly into the four major rivers, while the Environment Ministry will handle the other 47 provincial tributaries. The government says the tributaries need to be cleaned up because pollutants could flow into the four rivers and undo much of the improvement under the main project.