Funding shortage halts project

Updated: 2011-12-30 09:58

By Xu Wei and Huang Zhaohua (China Daily)

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NANNING - Local authorities says they are in no rush to demolish a building that is hindering the construction of a railway bridge as a lack of funding has put a halt to the project.

An online post depicting a building located between two bridge piers at a construction site in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, attracted widespread attention on Tuesday, with speculation that the failure to demolish the building has caused the project to be halted for a year.

Funding shortage halts project

A building located between two bridge piers at a construction site in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, was said to have halted the project construction for a year, but local traffic authorities said the halt was actually caused by a funding shortage. [Provided to China Daily]

However, an official from the Nanning Railway Administration denied the speculation on Wednesday, saying a lack of funds, instead of a demolition failure, has halted the project.

"The project has been halted because it is facing financial difficulties," Ye Qiujiang, an official at the news office of the railway administration, told China Daily.

"The residents living in the building are construction workers and their families and they are willing to leave whenever needed," he said.

He added that the project has recently received capital injections, but it is still not enough to guarantee that the project will be completed on time.

The railway bridge, constructed over the Yongjiang River in the outskirts of Nanning, brings two railway lines to the city: the Yunnan-Guangxi railway and the Nanning-Pingxiang high-speed railway.

"The project has to be slowed down in the bigger environment of railway construction nationwide," Li Weifeng, a program manager of the bridge project, told China Daily. "The progress of the project is not determined by us, but by the Ministry of Railways."

Li said the online speculation came out of nowhere and he was more than surprised when hearing it.

A worker in her 30s, who only gave her name as Li, said residents in the building have just moved in.

"So far we haven't received any notice or heard any speculation on leaving the building. We will certainly leave when we are told to," she said.

As of Wednesday, few workers could be seen at the construction site and some said the project has been halted several times since October.

Chen Fei, a 26-year-old migrant worker from Guangdong province, said some migrant workers have chosen to return to their hometowns since they have been unemployed for almost two months.

"To me it is a waste of time if the project just goes on like this," said Chen. According to him, the investor of the project can now barely pay their wages and they have to receive their payment from the boss who was contracted to build the project.

Railway construction nationwide has been almost halted as the government has decided to slow the development of high-speed rail lines after a deadly train crash in July.