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Beijing to invest US$446m on subway safety renovation
Updated: 2004-02-24 15:17

The Beijing municipal government will spend 3.7 billion yuan (US$446 million) by 2007 to remove hidden dangers in its subway system, said Wang Qishan, mayor of Beijing, on February 23.

The newly-elected mayor made the remarks at a meeting of the municipal government in the wake of a subway explosion in Russia and a fatal stampede during a lantern show in city's Miyun County early February.

The key part of this large-scale subway safety renovation project is to improve the fire-prevention facilities in the subways, said Xie Zhengguang, general manager of Beijing Subway Corporation.

Xie said the project would put more trains into operation, improve the systems of fire alert, fire control, ventilation and electricity supply in the subway as well as remove all vending stands in the subway stations.

The project started in 2003 and has also seen contingency plans made and a series of drills in case of emergency launched, said Xie.

Beijing's subway has so far been equipped with two automatic fire-prevention systems. One is a two-layer monitoring system set in the monitoring center and at each station. The other is an automatic water sprinkler network.

In the tunnels of the subway, there are special fume extractors, which, in case of a fire, would be turned on immediately to expel poisonous fumes and smoke, according to the cooperation.

Beijing now has three subway lines in operation with a distance of about 110 km, and three others are under construction, which were expected to be completed before 2008, when it hosts the summer Olympic Games

So far, the subway passenger volume accounts for 15 percent of the city's public transportation passenger volume.

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