China's Railway Defers New Projects to Concentrate on Safety

Beijing, Nov 10(ANI): Chinese railway construction companies have said several high-speed railway projects, which were slated to open this year have been postponed to next year or later.

A 200 kilometre/hour railway between Hefei and Bengbu in East China's Anhui province was set to be inaugurated by November 20 but has been postponed to next year, a Chinese official said,on the condition of anonymity.

The 350 kilometre/hour Shijiazhuang-Wuhan railway project and three other railway projects based in Hubei province's capital,Wuhan have also been delayed,Xinhua reports.

Chinese Railway 11th Bureau Group Company's Deputy General Manager Zhang Cheng said the national railway safety measures undertaken after the July railway accident had delayed the projects.

Chinese Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu had ordered a slowing down of the speed of all bullet trains after the July accident and said that there should be no rush to finish construction work earlier than the stipulated period.

According to the China Daily, insiders believe that the railway ministry's weak financial condition delayed the projects.

The delay is a huge setback for passengers, who had expected to board the new hi-speed trains soon.

"The new train service would take only 40 minutes (to cover the distance). The train currently available is an old one. It is really unpleasant to ride on," a Chinese woman,Cui Li said.

But others supported the ministry's emphasis on safety at the cost of completion of projects.

"A rapid expansion of transportation infrastructures will bring about more disasters someday. Safety issues require more attention than speed," a Chinese student, Chenianhong said. (ANI)

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