BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese legislators Monday started discussing for the second time a draft law on the protection of oil and natural gas pipelines which spells out the responsibilities of pipeline companies.
According to the draft, companies must take safety measures while constructing pipelines and ensure the quality of materials.
Companies must have professional personnel regularly patrol pipelines and deal with any potential safety issues in a timely manner, the draft said.
They must place warning signs near pipelines according to state standards and replace damaged signs as soon as possible.
The draft law says pipeline companies must offer compensation to land owners whose land use is curtailed by the pipeline.
Buildings and facilities like pools and greenhouses that may damage pipelines are prohibited in the buffer area.
The draft said rapid urbanization has resulted in the reckless construction of buildings and roads within pipeline buffer areas, making pipeline protection increasingly difficult.
The State Council, China's cabinet, submitted the law to the 14th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature. The Standing Committee's four-day meeting began Monday.