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Beijing Authorities Heavily Criticized after Flooding

5 years ago273 views

Beijing's massive deluge over the weekend left more than just a flood. People have inundated authorities with criticism over the city's infrastructure that buckled under the downpour.

Beijing's Drainage Group admitted that underpasses built in the 1980s are inadequate for withstanding heavier downpours, state-run China Daily reported.

Chinese engineer, Guo Hongyu says many infrastructure projects in China are substandard. She says construction projects are prone to corrupt dealings, with only a small portion of the total cost actually going towards materials and labor.

[Guo Hongyu, Chinese Engineer]:
"This means they need to be creative with the materials. Also, construction supervision in China is not regulated well. The quality control on the surface is regulated, but hidden interest means that quality can often be sacrificed."

As Beijing's streets turned into rivers Saturday night, some netizens posted pictures of much older buildings that held up after the floods. This prompted many to criticize the lavish development of Beijing as "face projects."

[Hua Po, Beijing Resident]:
"Beijing is all glitz and glamour, but it's what officials use to climb up the ranks. They focus on what people can see, but underground [infrastructure] is not be seen."

Others say Beijing's city planning under the Communist Party lags behind that of ancient dynasties.

[Zhu Jianguo, Shenzhen-based Author]:
"The [Chinese regime] values people less now than they did during the Ming dynasty. Beijing under the Ming and Qing Dynasties had better drainage systems to guard against heavy downpours than the city has now."

Beijing authorities have also been accused of hiding the flood's real death toll. The official toll stands at 37, but pictures have been posted online showing devastated areas in the countryside—where locals say both buildings and people have been swept away.

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