Construction has been delayed on Guangzhou's No3 subway, which will serve Panyu, where a new transportation hub is being planned. Problems with land acquisition and compensation and the relocation of utility cables have put the project behind schedule. A Guangzhou Metro Corp spokeswoman said yesterday all efforts were being made to make up for lost time to ensure the 35.8km line would open as scheduled in the middle of 2006. Construction of the 15.29 billion yuan subway began late last year. 'We are facing quite big obstacles. We had expected these problems when we were planning the project but they turned out to be more difficult than we thought,' the spokeswoman said. Contractors were hiring more workers to work round the clock but the subway would not be hit by cost overruns, she said. She said the contractors would bear all additional expenses incurred to make sure they finished the project on time. 'We do not have to increase our investment. The contractors will make less profit and be under more pressure,' the official said. There would be no compromise on quality as Guangzhou Metro Corp had inspectors regularly checking progress of the work, she added. Long negotiations over land acquisition and compensation delayed construction at five sites by more than six months, Nanfang Daily reported yesterday. At Tianhe terminal, the start of one branch of the subway, work was delayed by more than eight months. Negotiations to acquire land for the Luoxi section delayed the contractor by more than five months. There have also been problems of co-ordination with various departments. To build the station under East Railway Station, negotiations had to be conducted with six departments and the talks are still ongoing. Subway No2, which opened this year, was completed two weeks ahead of schedule, while the construction of the first subway also proceeded smoothly as the government stepped in to resolve problems. Subway No3 is believed to be facing more problems than the other two lines because it is a commercial project. Guangzhou broke ground earlier this year on its fourth subway linking the city centre with the university town on Nansha island. Three more subways are on the drawing board.