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January 18, 2011

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Leaks plague Metro Line 10 stations

More than half of Metro Line 10's 24 stations currently in use are suffering from water leaks and seepages.

Emergency repairs are being carried out but Shanghai's Metro officials said there was no guarantee that leaks wouldn't happen again.

Passengers who complained about the problem on the line, which began operating last April, say they are worried about the quality of construction. Many online comments said that quality had been sacrificed in the rush to have work completed before the opening of the World Expo in May.

About 16 stations are affected by leaking water.

At the Tongji University station, there are more than 10 points where water is coming in, the most badly affected of all the stations. Staff put out buckets and warning notices and use mops and slip prevention mats to ensure passenger safety. Cleaners are kept busy replacing buckets as they fill up.

At the Wujiaochang station, water leaks on to the platform, forcing passengers to dodge buckets when catching the train.

One photograph posted online shows seven buckets in a row catching water dripping from the ceiling at the Siping Road station.

Metro officials say the builders contracted to build the stations would be carrying out repairs at their own expense during the guarantee period. However, builders say leaks, a long-standing problem on the city's expanding Metro network, could happen again with weather changes and land subsidence.

Zeng Hua, deputy general manager of an under-construction downtown transit station project between Line 10 and Line 11, said the "city's long and narrow Metro station structures are more likely to be affected by subsidence."

The structures are expected to see distortions especially during the first few years after construction, said Zeng.

"The bitter cold weather these days may also contribute to the steel distortion as the material contracts with the cold."

Meanwhile, water was again seen seeping into a city Metro station on Line 11 even as repairs were being completed earlier this month.

Work began at the end of last year on entrances and exits at Line 11's Zhenru station after passengers were left sloshing about in puddles.

Line 11 also went into service just before the World Expo started.

Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng yesterday urged local authorities to come up with more effective measures to improve Metro safety and avoid subsidence.

Metro engineering experts said measures taken to curb subsidence over the years had proved successful and safe.

But Ye called on watchdogs to increase supervision to prevent underground projects from starting without approval. Otherwise, unapproved projects such as underground drainage operations would increase risks of dangerous subsidence and damage to subway tunnels nearby.


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