CHINA has approved 25 new subway projects with an investment of 800 billion yuan (US$126.98 billion), including five projects in Shanghai worth more than 16.79 billion yuan.
Second-tier cities such as Xiamen in Fujian Province and Taiyuan in Shanxi Province are to build metro lines while Shanghai and Harbin in Heilongjiang Province will see extensions to their existing urban rail systems, the National Development and Reform Commission announced yesterday.
By 2015, Shanghai's Metro system will reach Disneyland in the Pudong New Area and the China Expo Exhibition Complex in Qingpu District.
Metro Line 11 will be extended from its Luoshan Road to Disneyland, a 9.15 kilometer stretch costing 4.37 billion yuan.
Metro Line 8 will go beyond its Shanghai Aerospace Museum stop to Huizhen Road with a 6.6 kilometer extension costing 2.24 billion yuan.
Metro Line 10 will be made 10 kilometers longer with a new route from New Jiangwan City to Gangchen Road at a cost of 5.94 billion yuan.
Metro Line 2 will extend 2 kilometers eastward, from Xujingdong to Panlong Road, with an investment of 1.35 billion yuan.
Metro Line 3 and Line 4, which currently share part of their route, will go their separate ways in a rerouting project which will involve 2.6 kilometers of track and cost 2.89 billion yuan.
Municipal and district governments will contribute 7.1 billion yuan to the projects, 42 percent of the total cost. The rest will be financed by banks.
By 2020, 40 cities in China will have subways that run for more than 7,000 kilometers, 4.3 times the current length, according to the China Association of Metros, an organization under the NDRC.
Zhang Yongjun, a researcher at China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said: "The construction of urban rail systems can bring massive investments and create a pull effect on the local economy."
China has also approved construction of airports, highways and other public works to revive economic growth that slumped to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter.
The economic planning commission also gave the green light yesterday to the construction of 13 new highways that will measuring a total of 2,000 kilometers.
Local governments have also shown high interest in new infrastructure projects. The investment in local stimulus packages is said to amount to more than 10 trillion yuan over the past few months.
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