Just when you thought that the high-speed rail in China is really state of the art, it crashed. Not only is it probably not quite safe, it also makes no economic sense whatsoever as discussed before. A few days ago, a piece of news with respect to railway construction of pure hilarity emerges. Xinhua reported that there was a bloke who was offered a contract to build a segment of a railway line (the report did not really mention whether it is the now infamous high-speed rail) was formerly a farmer and chef who was once a restaurant owner (No, I am not making it up). The bloke who was offered a contract was a chef who has absolutely no idea on how to build bridges. Fair enough, he has repaired some roads though.
The railway segment in question is located in Jilin, with the total investment of CNY2.311 billion. After series of contracting and sub-contracting, this bloke who was a chef is offered a contract to cook up a bridge. Another bloke who was offered to build another segment of bridge and tunnel and the workers who were building the bridges and tunnel had the same qualification as that chef with respect to building bridges, namely: having absolutely no qualification in building bridges and/or tunnels. Many were migrant workers who had absolutely no idea how to build bridges, and there were absolutely no checks on their skills. But the story gets even better at this point. What’s more absurdly hilarious is that the journalists investigating the matters found out that the subcontractor who has supposedly offered the contract to the chef has belatedly issued a statement which says that it has never been offered any contract from the general contractor to build anything.
The statement says some chaps (supposedly criminals) have established company of the same name, pretended it was them, and obtained the contract to build a few bridges, then further subcontracting to some blokes (the chef included) who have absolutely no idea how to build bridges to build a few bridges. Because these blokes have absolutely no idea how to build bridges, not surprisingly, the quality is very questionable. Important structural parts which were supposed to be build with concrete only were built with a mixture of concrete, sand and gravels, compromising the safety of the structure. As one of the construction worker (who actually has no idea how to build bridges anyway) said as the bridges are completed, “I will definitely not take the train which passes through these bridges”. Well, what a great way to stimulate the economy.
This article originally appeared here: Pure Hilarity: A Chef Built A Railway Bridge In China
Also sprach Analyst – World & China Economy, Global Finance, Real Estate
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