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Chongqing torpedoes plan for 'world's tallest' navigation tower

WATERWAY officials have shelved a 10-million-yuan (US$1.47 million) plan to build a navigation tower in Chongqing Municipality that was designed to be "the world's tallest," today's Qilu Evening News reported.

Chongqing Yangtze River Waterway Bureau officials announced the decision yesterday after the public criticized the plan, the report said.

The country's tallest existing navigation tower measures 68 meters and is in Guangdong Province's Huilai County.

Another navigation tower, at 66.9 meters, is at the intersection of Subei Canal and the Yangtze River in Yangzhou City of Jiangsu Province, the report said.

Chongqing waterway bureau's director Bi Fangquan had initially dismissed public criticism over the tower plan.

He said in previous reports that the new tower will improve waterway security as more cruise ships navigate the city's section of the Yangtze River following the completion of the Three Gorges project. The tower now in use is 15 meters high, he noted.

He also expected the tower to become a new landmark and boost local tourism. The planned tower was to be equipped with a sightseeing elevator and cover 6,667 square meters.

The water authority was to finance the project, bureau official He Bo said in previous reports.

Upon completion, officials planned to apply to the Guinness World Records headquarters to have it named the world's tallest navigation tower.

However, the plan sparked strong public criticism.

In a poll, 1,154 of 2,475 respondents said the tower plan was just a window dressing project for the city government.

In another poll on the Website, 1,009 of 2,271 respondents said they preferred to use the 10 million yuan to build more primary schools in the country's underprivileged areas. Only 267 people said the tower was a good idea.


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