Public misgivings over the extended maglev line that was expected to serve as a traffic artery for the 2010 Shanghai Expo may have significantly postponed its construction.
Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said Wednesday the project, which has triggered noise and health hazard concerns, cannot be completed before the world fair.
"It is impossible (to finish) before 2010. The project hasn't even started yet. We never said the line would be completed prior to the Shanghai Expo," Han said.
Construction of the 31.8 km Shanghai section of the line connecting Longyang Road with Hongqiao, the city's second international airport, was shelved in May because of fierce opposition from people living near the proposed line.
Residents said they feared the effects of magnetic radiation and noise pollution, as plans for the track showed there would be a green protective belt just 22.5 m wide, much less than the 300 m belt originally proposed.
Han said experts were still discussing building of the maglev track.
(China Daily March 5, 2008)