The story appears on

Page P1

July 31, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Expo may break budget

WORLD Expo operating costs may surpass the 10.6 billion yuan (US$1.57 billion) budget, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said during a TV interview.

However, construction costs stayed within the budget of 18 billion yuan, Han told Taiwan CtiTV.

The city government will publicize how much money was spent and how it was used after auditing the event, the mayor said.

Meanwhile, the mayor said he hoped the city could receive both tangible and intangible benefits from the Expo.

"The Expo site is there for everyone to see and touch, and the spirit of the Expo can have an impact on citizens and this is very important to the city's future development," said Han.

Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng has said the Expo is expected to break even.

Han said he noticed some online rumors claiming the Expo costs huge sums of money.

"If they keep saying so even after I give out the real budget, I will just turn a blind eye to the rumors," he said.

The mayor said missing the opportunity to host a World Expo would be a "crime to history," because it is the best opportunity for the city's development.

"If any city mayor missed the opportunity, he should feel sorry for Shanghai, its people, for later generations and for the country," he said.

Most populated city

The mayor expected Shanghai would be the world's most populated city by 2020 with more than 23.5 million residents.

"To make people's life better in the city is my top priority," he said.

The annual increase in the city's population will be more than 350,000, which may bring about some problems, including transport, the environment and social issues among disadvantaged groups, Han said.

Luckily, the city can learn a lot and find solutions at the Expo, especially the Urban Best Practices Area that includes urban development experiences from cities around the world, he added.

Han said he was greatly inspired by some cases at the UBPA, providing him with a vision of what future cities will be like.

Han also said it was the Expo organizer's fault rather than visitors for the disorder during the trial operation from April 20 to 27.

For example, crowding at the entrances was common on the first day because not all the turnstiles were opened and 200,000 people were invited to the site, he said.

Han also said the organizer initially failed to set up railings near pavilion waiting areas, which led to some people jumping the queues, a practice that was widely criticized by domestic and international media.

"Nobody could line up in order without the railings," he said. The media should be more tolerant and try to empathize with visitors, who line up for several hours to see some of the popular pavilions, he added.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend