Shanghai's maglev train plan may be tweaked

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 January, 2008, 12:00am

Shanghai is considering further 'adjustment and study' of the plan for a controversial maglev railway extension, local media quoted government officials as saying.

Several deputies of the Shanghai People's Congress have called for greater transparency over the project and for public opinion to be taken into account following massive protests against the high-speed train this month, the Xinmin Evening News said on its website at the weekend.

Deputies said more dialogue was needed to convince residents of the line's benefits to the economic development of Shanghai and the whole Yangtze River Delta region.

Residents living near the proposed route fear noise, vibrations, and even possible radiation, from the magnetic levitation train. People to be evicted to make way for the project and homeowners in the vicinity want compensation.

The newspaper quoted officials as saying the government would listen to residents' opinions, echoing a similar pledge by Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng last week.

Separately, Mr Han has called for attention to safety as Shanghai prepares to extend or open seven Metro lines this year, the China Daily said yesterday.

'With so much work being carried out at the same time and long lengths of new track being put into use, both the construction and operation of Shanghai's subway have reached an extreme level. I am really worried about safety,' he was quoted as saying. Mr Han also warned of the disruption to traffic caused by the building boom.

Shanghai plans to complete 10 new Metro lines by 2012, taking the length of the network to more than 500km. The city is rushing to build more lines for the World Expo in 2010, and to ease traffic congestion.

Last week, a train on the No 2 line broke down, trapping passengers in the dark for at least 45 minutes. In 2003, an underwater tunnel for a Metro line under construction collapsed and flooded, causing buildings on the river bank to sink.