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Shanghai residents gather to prevent protest of train line expansion

Shanghai residents gather to prevent protest of train line expansion

Residents warned potential demonstrators Saturday against mounting an illegal march to protest a proposed extension of a high-speed train line through their Shanghai neighborhood.
Residents in armbands used a megaphone to warn people not to "linger here too long," to avoid problems with the police, who had rejected their petition to hold a protest march against the magnetic levitation, or maglev, train
"This is still a way to express our opinions," said Chen Wei, who said he was a representative of the residents. He said protest marches would continue to be an option if the government failed to address their concerns.
Plans call for a maglev line that currently connects an airport on Shanghai's eastern outskirts with its financial district to be extended to another airport in the west of the city.
The maglev uses powerful magnets to suspend the train above a track and propel it at high speed. Residents near the planned extension have said they worry that the magnets could harm their health and that having a train line nearby would lower property values.
Last month, hundreds of residents surprised officials by defying a protest ban and holding what they termed "strolls" through a busy downtown square and a popular shopping street.
Police this week rejected an application for another march.
Officials say they take residents' concerns seriously and are studying the feasibility of the plan.
Earlier this week, Chen said the government promised it would "definitely suspend" the project if it could not establish that it posed no health risks. There has been no word from the government on that.


Updated : 2020-12-06 07:13 GMT+08:00