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June 22, 2011

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Calls for one body to supervise pipelines

HEAVY rain over the past week has placed great pressure upon the city's drainage system and the aging underground pipelines.

Pipeline accidents caused by aging infrastructure have been increasing in recent years, as nearly 30 percent of the city's pipelines have been in service for more than 20 years, according to a report on the city's safety operations released yesterday.

Its authors urged the city government to create one information sharing and supervising platform and carry out sewage pipeline inspections in order to be prepared for emergencies.

The report, by local legislators, said more than 300 kilometers of pipes in downtown areas have been in use for more than 50 years.

Shanghai's total drainage pipeline network is 10,558 kilometers long.

A renovation project has begun to upgrade the sewage system but progress is slow, due to construction difficulties and lack of funds.

In addition, careless construction workers have been blamed for causing many pipeline fractures.

Gan Zhongze, a lawmaker who headed the report, said loopholes still exists in the management and maintenance of the city's drainage network as supervision falls between several agencies.

The report's authors proposed the government should have one single platform to watch over the pipelines. This would make renovation and emergency response plans easier.

"Our pipelines are badly in need of checks and renovation," said Gan.


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