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English>>China Society

Shanghai tackles issue of sinking city

By  Shi Yingying  (China Daily)

13:42, November 22, 2012

The local legislature in Shanghai on Tuesday started to discuss a draft regulation on preventing land subsidence, which aims to better supervise high-speed rail, underground transportation and other major municipal construction projects in the city.

Gan Zhongze, a lawmaker who has been participating in the draft, said that the city has sunk by 29 cm in the past 40 years. "The speed of sinking has slowed down, especially since 2005, but it remains a major hazard for the city," he said.

Feng Jingming, director of the Shanghai Planning and Land Resources Bureau, said a diminishing water table, combined with a growing number of skyscrapers, is causing Shanghai to sink. The average altitude of Shanghai is only 4 meters above sea level.

The draft regulation stipulates that a monitoring network to measure land subsidence for Shanghai's major municipal projects should join the city's monitoring network for ground setting, and that those major construction organizations should update their day-to-day monitoring data to the Shanghai Planning and Land Resources Administration for better prevention of subsidence.

It also requires construction companies to evaluate land before digging pits of 7 to 15 meters deep, which is considered a deep-foundation ditch. A third party is also needed for evaluation and reporting to the planning and land authority of Shanghai if the foundation is deeper than 15 meters.

Violators could face a fine up to 500,000 yuan ($80,200), according to the draft.

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