Authorities in Qingdao, Shandong province, apologized Wednesday to local residents for the recent controversial tree planting project, chinanews.com reported.
The Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry published a statement on its website on April 18, apologizing for the lack of communication with residents and slow replies to residents' questions about the project.
In an effort to prepare for the World Horticultural Exposition 2014, Qingdao municipal government plans to invest 4 billion yuan ($634.4 million) in landscaping and forestry this year. In March, a vigorous tree planting project was launched across the city.
But the program triggered a debate among residents and Internet users as they questioned why there was no hearing or soliciting of public opinions before such a huge project. Also, destroying lawns and replanting trees may be a waste of money, some said.
The Bureau of Landscape and Forestry said that the project was flawed by unreasonable planning in some regions, not being transparent in design and planning, careless arguments and lack of communication with the public. They promised to improve their working style and accept more public oversight.