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Environment report's rejection signals rail delay

By Wang Xiaodong | | Updated: 2013-04-17 15:45

Hopes of starting construction this year on the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed rail project were dashed again following the rejection of an environmental evaluation report by a watchdog, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday.

Two previous environmental evaluation reports, drafted by the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group in 2009 and 2010, for the 700-km-long high-speed rail that links Beijing and Northeast China's Shenyang, were also rejected.

The line, when completed, will be an important part of China's high-speed rail network.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection, which started to review the latest environmental report in November, rejected the report in April, saying that the evaluation "lacked public participation".

Accepting the environmental evaluation report is a precondition for the approval of the project's feasibility report, which mandates the construction.

The ministry asked for another survey with adequate public participation, so a consensus can be reached between groups of various interests, a member of staff at the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group told the Economic Information Daily.

Previous media reports said the rail plan caused heated objections among some residents in Beijing over noise pollution fears.

Irregularities were also found in the way the survey was conducted.

Allegations were made that members of the public were induced to give favorable responses through gifts, according to media reports.

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