Shanghai to build 10 more metro lines
200b yuan earmarked for transport upgrade
Shanghai will complete 10 new metro lines by 2012 at a cost of 200 billion yuan, an official said yesterday, a sign the city is again pushing ahead with major infrastructure projects after the removal of its top leader last year.
The new metro lines will bring the number in Shanghai to 13, in a move to ease worsening traffic congestion, Ying Minghong, , deputy director of the city's metro construction headquarters, said.
Construction on some of the lines started in 2005. At the end of this year, the city will begin testing three new lines, and within five years will have more than 500km of lines.
Mr Ying said the work would displace only 12,500 households and 1,300 companies in 14 districts. Shanghai evicted more than 81,000 families for urban development last year alone.
Compensation levels for relocated families would differ.
'The amount should be verified in different districts during different periods. We will compensate them based on the market evaluation of housing prices,' he said.
Funding for construction would come from the local government and bank loans, Mr Ying said. He made no mention of seeking foreign investment. Shanghai has previously bought equipment for its metro from foreign companies, but operated the system on its own.
Four of the 13 lines will service the site of the Shanghai Expo, which the city will host in 2010. Shanghai estimates it will receive 70 million visitors during the expo, which could strain its transport system.
Following the removal of Shanghai party secretary Chen Liangyu for alleged corruption, approval of major projects slowed. But in recent weeks the central government has pushed forward a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai and Vice-premier Zeng Peiyan has been put in charge of a steering group on the train project.
However, the future of another potential project is still in doubt. The Shanghai government said yesterday the city had yet to receive approval for a possible Disney theme park, following domestic media reports that the stalled project had been resurrected.
'Until now, we haven't heard any information about approval of the project,' city spokeswoman Jiao Yang said.
Oriental Outlook magazine, which is controlled by Xinhua, this week quoted an official from Shanghai's Nanhui district saying the project had received renewed interest from the government.
Shanghai has made no secret about its desire for the project, but city officials have said any decision rests with the central government.
New metro lines are a sign Shanghai is pressing ahead with major projects. The number of households facing eviction for the completion of 10 new lines is 12,500