Yesterday, Nanfang Urban Daily (南方都市报) published an article on corruption in the renovation and upgrading of pedestrian overpasses, a topic near and dear to my heart. Reporter Zhao Yanxiong (赵炎雄) paid 300 rmb for a tip on the extent of corruption in repairing and upgrading pedestrian overpasses. The six overpasses in question are in Futian District on the Shenyan Road between the Wutong Tunnel and the Shatoujiao Bonded Area. The Shenzhen Road & Bridge Construction Group Corp got the bid. The gist:
Eastern Area Bureau of Traffic spokesperson, “Every square meter cost 400 yuan, the total price was 1.6 million. The project could not be subcontracted out. We required Shenzhen Road & Bridge to do the job themselves.”
Subcontractor, “The construction costs per square meter were 115 yuan. The total area was 2,300 square meters, bringing the project cost to 250,000 yuan. We were contracted by Female Boss Cao.”
Pedestrian overpasses enable the city to be segregated by 6 to 8 lane roads, dividing up neighborhoods so the minority population of car owners can zip from from exclusive developments to work or out to dinner, while the rest of us take buses and the subway, and then climb up and over the roads. But here’s the thing about pedestrian overpasses – because they are so integrated into everyday life, the corruption and faulty materials are on display.
So was the problem bad engineering? Faulty materials? Or was the original bid the actual cost of a proper job? All we know, according to another post, is that Futian District is claiming inclement weather caused its million-yuan overpasses to become “tofu dregs (豆腐渣)”.
And there’s the rub: if six overpasses can generate 1.35 million in kickbacks and graft, just how much is being generated on Futian District’s other 40 odd overpasses, some of which are also being renovated less than half a year after Universiade upgrades?