On-off subway project back on track
For the second time in a week, Guangzhou officials have vowed to push ahead with the construction of a fifth subway line.
The move comes after state media reports said the city would delay the start of work on the 16-billion-yuan metro line, originally scheduled for late this month, under pressure from local lawmakers worried about debt.
On Wednesday, Guangzhou Metro Corporation general manager Lu Guanglin said: 'Barring unforeseen circumstances, construction of a test section of subway No5 will begin this month in preparation for full-scale construction.'
The news conference was also attended by officials from the city's Development Commission, Planning Bureau and Construction Commission. The high-profile endorsement of the plan contrasts with the central government's cautious approach to such projects.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Bank-sponsored conference on poverty yesterday, the deputy director of the comprehensive planning department of the Ministry of Communications, Li Xinghua , said he had not specifically heard any news about the Guangzhou metro.
'Given the current macro-economic environment, urban railway transport projects are within the scope of state control,' he said. In Guangzhou, a government source said the city 'will have counter-measures to deal with the central government's policy'.