All the platforms at Beijing's West Railway Station have to be rebuilt after sinking up to four metres since the station was finished in 1996. A lengthy expose in the capital-based China Business Times blamed local contractors for many of the defects plaguing what was hailed as Asia's biggest railway station. The platforms were not built on concrete foundations but on mud in order to save time and money. The ceiling has partially disintegrated and faulty valves in the plumbing system have resulted in several leaks. Contractors who supplied the water system valves have been imprisoned on charges of fraud and embezzlement. The authorities are also fielding criticism of poor lighting, a lack of signposts and a parking system which bars taxis from entering the station. Of the five escalators installed, only one operates at a time. The paper said all the building supplies were bought from domestic manufacturers by a single purchasing official who has not been identified. The three officials responsible for overseeing the project are known but the report said they were not being prosecuted because they had retired. The station's designers were accused of poorly co-ordinating their plans and the authorities were castigated for reducing the building schedule from four years to 2.5. Construction started before the architects had finished their blueprint. 'For a new project, emerging problems in quality are normal,' said an architect quoted in the report. 'What is not normal is the current station management.'