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Government visits construction weary residents

2010. 23 February

by Chen Ying
( More than one thousand government officials visited 1,109 residential compounds in Shanghai, Pudong district on February 20 to listen to complaints from residents concerned about World Expo construction.

“This is the first time that government officials have visited such a large population base, covering all the residential compounds in the district,” an official surnamed Dai with the press department of Shanghai Pudong District Government told Global Times on February 21. She admitted that the visit was one part of the government’s campaign to prepare for the launch of the World Expo that begins on May 1.

Ten resident representatives in each residential compound were selected for meetings with government officials during the visits. Residents from the three affected communities Shangnan, Nanmatou and Zhoujiadu, comprised of 83 compounds, complained that they were concerned about matters involving safety, transportation and pollution.

“Complaints were collected. The officials said they would report to Pudong government’s supervision department to find out solutions, although the official didn’t give any promises on when the problems would be solved,” said a resident surnamed Huang, 50, from Nanmatou Community, who attended a meeting with the Pudong government officials last Saturday.

According to Huang, nearly all the outdoor clothes racks and rain covers in Nanmatou Community were removed in order to make the scenery more amenable to visitors. The residents were told clothes racks and rain covers would be reinstalled after the World Expo is over, but no specific times have been given.

“Transportation safety will be an issue during the World Expo. We hope to see some specific solutions as soon as possible,” said an official surnamed Zhang from the Zhoujiadu Community Office.

Liu Shejian, a researcher with Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences told Global Times on Sunday that the government visits to large numbers of residents is a gesture that aims to pacify worried residents whose living conditions have already been disturbed by the Expo hubbub.

“The government is trying to make people understand the significance of the World Expo in Shanghai. Also, they want to make sure possible conflicts are considered before the World Expo begins,” Liu said.

The Shanghai 2010 World Expo will be held beginning May 1 through October of this year, expected to host more than 70 million domestic and overseas visitors.


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