China has suspended the planned construction of a high-speed magnetic
levitation train route linking the eastern cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou amid radiation concerns, officials and
experts said on Saturday.
"The project has been suspended in line with the arrangements of the
municipal government," said a spokesman with the local government of Minhang
District in the city's southern suburbs.
An official with the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress confirmed a major
reason for the suspension was the radiation concerns from residents living along
the proposed route. "The government is working on the issue," he said on
condition of anonymity.
Approved by the central government in March 2006, the 35-billion-yuan (4.5
billion U.S. dollars) maglev project using German technology is designed to
float 175 kilometers and run at a maximum speed of 450 kilometers per hour.
It was generally believed that the line would operating by 2010, when
Shanghai plays host to the World Expo.
The Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev line will be the world's second commercial
high-speed maglev track. Shanghai operates the world's only commercial maglev
system on a 30-kilometer run between Shanghai's financial district and its
"The petition office told us early this month the maglev construction and all
the relocation plans had been suspended," said Wang Xia (pseudonym), a resident
in Xinzhuang township in Minhang. "We had been looking forward to this."
Wang, a 28-year-old expectant mother, began to petition in March, shortly
after she learned the maglev route was to traverse her community. "I was worried
because the radiation could harm my baby."
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