Shanghai will accelerate urban infrastructure construction with a total investment of 500 billion yuan (US$73.22 billion) through 2010.
The massive capital injection was a way to boost internal demand and increase the chances of stable economic growth amid the global financial turmoil, the city’s construction and transport authority announced recently.
The Shanghai Construction and Transportation Commission, overseer of the city’s infrastructure development, said it would focus on promoting the planned and ongoing projects in five major areas.
- Building budget houses for low-income families and revamping old complexes;
- Improving traffic, waste-water treatment and village facilities in the suburbs;
- Extending rail and highway connections to other provinces in the Yangtze River Delta region;
- Expanding the city’s mass-transit system, including Metros, vehicle tunnels and bike-only roadways;
- Focusing on projects aimed at reducing energy consumption and waste discharge, including waste-water treatment and garbage-burning factories.
These projects, with a total investment of 500 billion yuan (nearly 74 billion US dollars), are due for completion before 2010.
The city’s other major infrastructure projects, with a total investment of 122.4 billion yuan (over 18 billion US dollars), are scheduled to be finished before the end of this year.
Price increases in construction material, financing difficulties and other fallouts from the global financial crisis have put great pressure on the projects.
City officials said yesterday construction had already started or been completed on projects involving 97 billion yuan (nearly 14 billion US dollars) worth of investment as of the end of last month. Most outstanding projects were on schedule, they said.
These infrastructure projects are mostly related to traffic improvements and the construction of new Metro routes, tunnels and transport hubs in readiness for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
At least 4 million square meters of budget-housing complexes will be under construction before the end of this year, according to a government plan.
Low-income households are eligible to apply to purchase these cheap apartments.
The threshold for a budget house purchase requires that a family’s present housing area is less than 14 square meters per person and an average member should earn less than 2,100 yuan (around 308 US dollars) a month . The family must have total financial assets of less than 200,000 yuan (nearlly 30,000 US dollars).