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City pledges more funds for services and projects

Shanghai will further improve public services and expand transportation infrastructure in new urban centers in the suburbs over the coming four years, city officials said this morning.

Shanghai spent about 800 billion yuan (US$126 billion) on urban infrastructure, including roads, utilities and Metro projects during the 2005-2010 period. For the current Five-Year Plan period, the city will earmark for funds for civic projects, said officials without giving the figures.

"The municipality will increase budget to ensure the smooth operation of its new facilities and invest more in urban infrastructure than in the previous five years," said Qin Yun, chief engineer of the Shanghai Construction Commission.

Frequent technical glitches of the city's Metro lines and a brain drain in the Metro system have stimulated public debate over the safety of local subways and prompted experts to call for a slowdown in Metro construction.

Yin Hong, deputy secretary general of the municipal government, said Metro construction will go on next year. Projects include the third phase of Metro Line 8, the third phase of Line 9, the second phase of Line 5, and the first phase of Metro Line 17.


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