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A Bridge Not Far Enough

Angry villagers in eastern China are suing neighbours on the other side of a river for stopping a new bridge in its tracks just half way across the water.

Residents in Shitan, Zhejiang province, had given their blessing to the bridge when work began six years ago.

But it ground to a halt 30ft short of the other bank when residents on the other side refused make way for the rest of it.

"There are some homes very close to the other bank and the owners would not allow the bridge to touch their land unless they were compensated," explained one local official.

"But the price they demanded was too high and the work stopped. Five years later, we are still waiting," they added.

Now Shitan villagers are suing their neighbours for compensation for loss of use of the crossing.

"We want to settle this peacefully but they are blocking progress.

"The houses in question are very shabby and old and not worth anything like the compensation they are demanding.

"Our residents have had to make a long detour for five years just to cross the river - that needs compensation too," said a village committee spokesman.

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