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China Daily / 2020-03 / 26 / Page016

Major city projects get back underway

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-26 00:00

After successful epidemic prevention and control measures, construction speeds up to ensure full-year targets are met

Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan province, has begun to reboot normal city and economic operations after achieving positive results in epidemic control over the past few months.

On March 14, the last patient infected with the novel coronavirus in Changsha was discharged from hospital. Since then, daily cases have fallen to zero in the city.

The local government is working on resuming social and economic development while keeping the epidemic under control. However, there are challenges, such as the return of migrant workers, large population flow and the risk of imported infections from overseas.

Hu Henghua, Party secretary of Changsha, said epidemic control and socioeconomic development are both important. He added the city will accelerate construction on major projects and lower the impact of the outbreak on its economy to realize full-year targets.

On Feb 5, Chinese machinery manufacturer Sany Group restarted operations at its eight production sites in Hunan province. On Feb 20, workers restarted construction on subway lines 3 and 5. On March 10, an industrial software and intelligent robot equipment industrial base was unveiled in Changsha's Yuhua district, with 12 projects signed.

By March 24, 2,575 local companies above designated scale resumed operation, 99.3 percent of the city's total. The number of workers returning to their jobs reached 506,000, data from the local government showed.

Changsha officials divided the city into six areas where the government sent six working groups to help quicken resumption. Each company above designated scale will have one or two contacts from the government, who will help in epidemic control, policy consultancy and other services. The total number of government contacts is about 5,000.

Haoyunwei, a Changsha-based seasonings producer, has been working with the government contacts.

Sheng Zhenyu, a contact sent from the local urban management bureau, proposed to formulate a working process for epidemic control and collecting information from employees.

On Feb 14, Haoyunwei reopened. Worker accommodation followed a closed-off management mechanism. General manager Hu Youping was pleased with the results. "They are happy to solve any problem in the company from the epidemic control, production to sales."

The company's sales have risen close to that at the same period in 2019. Its e-commerce platform is also in operation, bringing in about 20,000 yuan ($2,833) in daily sales.

Implementation of major projects is also a priority of the city.

Since early February, the Changsha government held video meetings every day to schedule the resumption of major projects. Twenty-two officials were placed in charge of 29 projects, and through efforts such as on-site investigation, promotion of cooperation among banks and companies, and investment attraction, a better business environment for companies was established.

Online platforms were also adopted to accelerate the projects. Applications and approvals can all be processed online, to support new and existing projects.

At the construction site of a tunnel in Xiangjiang New Area, 310 workers were called upon from across the province to recover the construction schedule delayed by the outbreak. Previously, the project faced a shortage in labor as most workers were from Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in lockdown at that time. On March 10, the western main line of the tunnel was completed, a major step in the project.

At an optical lens research, production and service base in Yuhua district, a project co-developed with Guangzhou-based company Chiopt Optotech, the schedule was clear-to finish construction of a testing and inspection building as well as a production workshop in June, put them into operation in September, and accelerate construction of dormitories, parking lots and spare rooms.

When completed, the base is expected to produce 800,000 optical lenses for industrial use, 400,000 industrial cameras, 1.5 million automotive and other lenses, and 80,000 industrial light sources annually.

As of March 23, a total of 1,093 major projects in Changsha had restarted, including 234 new projects with an investment up to 107.7 billion yuan. Estimated annual investment into major projects was 39.5 billion yuan this year. A total of 97.8 percent of major projects have restarted so far, data from the local government showed.

Feng Zhiwei contributed to this story.


Workers operate machinery at the construction site of an agricultural wholesale center in Changsha, Hunan province. CHINA DAILY



Construction resumes on an expressway in Changsha. CHINA DAILY



The landscaping project at Changsha Railway Station restarts. CHINA DAILY



Traffic returns to the streets of Changsha after a brief absence. Flows are at roughly 80 percent of what they would be normally. QIN YI/FOR CHINA DAILY



Hu Henghua, Party secretary of Changsha (third from left), takes a tour of a local company. ZHOU BOPING/FOR CHINA DAILY



Employees at an automotive molds factory in Changsha restart work. CHINA DAILY



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