The Shanghai-Hangzhou magnetic levitation (maglev) train line, whose environmental impact has raised concerns among residents, will be the subject of further public opinion surveys, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said on Thursday.
"All opinions from citizens, for or against, are valued by the government," Han said. He said that experts would study the opinions and further surveys would be conducted.
Construction of the 31.8-kilometer Shanghai section of the train line connecting Longyang Road with Hongqiao, home to the city's second international airport, was shelved last May due to fierce opposition from those living near the railway. The public expressed fears of radiation and noise, particularly as the track would be separated from communities along the route by a greenbelt only 22.5 meters wide.
The local government has held several surveys of residents, the latest of which was conducted earlier this month. No detailed information was available on the responses, but the route and length of the rail line were adjusted to put more of the system underground and reduce the number of people to be relocated.
"We welcome citizens to voice opinions through legal channels," Han said. "In the future, we would continue listening to people's opinions about major projects."
The 35-billion-yuan (4.5 billion U.S. dollars) Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project, using German technology, is to run 175 km in all between Shanghai and Hangzhou. If completed, it will be the world's second commercial high-speed maglev track. Shanghai operates the world's only commercial maglev system on a 30-km stretch between the business district and Pudong airport.
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)