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Some pavilions unfinished, but organizers confident

2010. 2 April

Ye Jun and Ni Dandan
( With one month to go before the Shanghai Expo opens on May 1, pavilion directors express their confidence in meeting the deadline while construction workers say an all-out sprint has started.

"We'll get everything ready before the trial scheduled for mid April," Rajesh Kumar, director of the Indian Pavilion, told a delegation of journalists on Tuesday when showing them around a bamboo dome, which will represent his country at the expo.

The exterior of the building is yet to be finished.

Meanwhile, at the Nepal Pavilion, a painter surnamed Mei told the Global Times on Wednesday that the site is currently on round-the-clock alert.

"We've been assigned a military pledge, so to speak, to get the work done on time."

A day earlier, Shanghai's vice mayor Yang Xiong fought back against previous specula-tion that around 10 to 20 percent of venue constructions are "doomed to be delayed."

"As things stand, fewer than 10 percent of the exhibition pavilions would possibly be left unfinished upon the opening of the expo," Yang said.

He added that the speculated "10 to 20 percent" was a misinterpretation of comments by Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of the Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

"The figures that Hong Hao talked about in media interviews referred to the average numbers in the past expos. But I think we're doing better this time," he said.

Yang explained that various factors, such as mistakes in material shipping, may have influenced the construction process.

He also dispelled rumors about the "profit-seeking" Expo with a "record-high budget."