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Debate over Shanghai maglev route rolls onward
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Residents living near the new route of Shanghai's maglev train have filed petitions demanding the plan to be further revised.

The extension will connect Hongqiao airport and Longyang Road. The maglev runs between Longyang Road and Pudong airport and is the world's only commercial maglev railway.

The revised route, which could cost as much as twice the original budget, avoids densely populated areas and includes a wider buffer zone to reduce noise. The plan is currently open to public comment.

However, residents have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the new route via E-mails, calls and online forums.

A resident named Wuhedeng from the Shangnan Huacheng residential community wrote on a Web board that the new plan had made him uneasy.

"In the new plan, (some sections) pass by the community or go underground, but (the part) near the Expo garden is still exposed. We are forced to 'enjoy' the noise and radiation that the new technology brings to us every day," he wrote.

But maglev experts dismissed radiation concerns, saying the government had widened the buffer zone to reduce noise.

Sun Zhang, a professor at Tongji University, said: "Experiments have shown the electromagnetic radiation is minimal compared with what is emitted by electronic appliances.

"Onboard, the electromagnetic radiation is only one-fifth of that from a color TV. But noise may be a problem."

(China Daily January 9, 2008)

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