RU
RU KZ EN
-9°
-9°C
ясно
Алматы Астана Актау Атырау Балхаш Жезказган Караганда Кокшетау Костанай Павлодар Семей Тараз Чимкент
Курс валюты
USD / KZT — 181.50
EUR / KZT — 232.77
РУБ / KZT — 4.43
CNY / KZT — 29.64
KZ RU EN
Contact us +7 (727) 388 8020 +7 (717) 254 2710
  • USD / KZT - 181.50
  • EUR / KZT - 232.77
  • РУБ / KZT - 4.43
Астана Алматы Актау Актобе Атырау Жезказган Караганда Кокшетау Костанай Кызылорда Павлодар Петропавловск Семей Талдыкорган Тараз Туркестан Уральск Усть-Каменогорск Шымкент Tengri FM 107.5 Sunday, 26.10.2014
-9 °C
ясно
Hot news: $2.5 billion adds to Kazakhstan's external debt American rappers shoot video about Gennadiy Golovkin Family with little children living in forest taken to crisis center in Uralsk Kazakh singer advances to battle round at Russian Voice Kazakhstan native named best young German actor US stocks push higher despite big Amazon drop French unemployment hits new record New York 'fully prepared' to handle Ebola case 'Premature' to talk of US troop cuts in Asia: Kerry Brazil poll rivals clash over corruption claim Renault chief sees Europe auto market slowing in 2015 New museum brings Poland's Jewish past back to life 5.2 magnitude earthquake in northern Greece Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement gets computer game makeover IMF fights negative interest rates Zellweger 'new face' highlights Hollywood aging taboo Italian court quashes Dolce & Gabbana fraud convictions Athletics: Ex-world 800m champion Mulaudzi dies in car crash - Zuma New York cop in serious condition after hatchet attack Putin admits Russia helped Yanukovych flee Ukraine French court authorises extradition of Kazakh tycoon Ablyazov Elton John lends star power to US war on AIDS US tobacco giant Reynolds bans smoking in its offices Mexico governor steps down over student disappearances Toyota shares rise on record profit report Neymar backing Brazil challenger Neves in election run-off Australian doctors transplant 'dead' hearts in surgical breakthrough Australia's angry birds swoop to protect young Kerry marks Hindu festival of lights at State Department Italian PM vows to publish cost of EU institutions in budget row New York confirms first Ebola case, world rallies Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app Heads roll in Russia as more details emerge of Total crash Latvian official suprised at high prices in Astana Google teams with Oxford to teach machines to think Artist in southern Kazakhstan draws healing paintings Spanish students march against spending cuts, reforms Polls give Rousseff growing lead ahead of Brazil vote 'Cloud' lifts Microsoft earnings above expectations 25-y.o. Astana beauty in Top 5 of Photomodel of the Universe-2014 Latest White House intruder charged Partial solar eclipse sweeps across North America Britain's Cameron in new row over EU demand for extra 2.1 bn euros Virus-free potato to hit Kazakhstan market in 2016 Gennady Golovkin wants PPV fight Golovkin goes up in P4P rating after defeating Rubio Loeffler names Murray as Golovkin's next opponent in Monte Carlo Kazakhstan harvests sweet potato first time for South Korea Golovkin could face Chavez in 2015 Appointment of new Defense Minister in Kazakhstan - reaction to crisis in Ukraine: experts Kazakh statehood is 550 years old: Nazarbayev Vegan croissants, gluten-free pasta: Europe wakes up to fussy eating Canada Prime Minister Harper condemns 'despicable attack' American freed by N.Korea arrives back in US From puddle to bottle: Kazakhstani invention purifies water Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps Kazakhstai short Free Birds to be screened at London Film Festival US says Russia blocks expansion of Ukraine border checkpoints WikiLeaks' Assange 'confident' ahead of Sweden ruling Guinea offers $10,000 to families of health workers killed by Ebola Shots shatter calm at home of Canadian democracy 'Goodfellas' actor sues 'The Simpsons' for $250 mn Peugeot says sales edge ahead in long haul out of crisis Kazakhstan's chemical industry eyeing investors from China, Korea and Europe Central Bank Governor on why he assured there would be no currency devaluations prior to actual devaluation 17-y.o. Kazakh model in Top 7 of Miss Princess of the World-2014 Will Kazakhstan cut on social spending amid sliding oil prices? WHO advises Kazakhs against drinking tea Verdi's La traviata premier at Astana Opera and live on Tengrinews TV Total names new head, and chairman after CEO death: union Kerry says no deal with N. Korea for freed American Astana Mayor appointed Defence Minister of Kazakhstan New Mayor of Astana appointed Kazakhstan explores coal-to-oil opportunities Kazakhstan to produce crude as long as it brings benefits and is demanded in global markets: Energy Minister No end in sight for Hong Kong protests after talks Washington Post 'Watergate' editor dead at 93 Snowplough driver in Moscow crash says on runway by mistake APEC finance chiefs meet as global worries persist Clinton: Women's rights 'under assault' by Republicans WWII ships found deep in 'Graveyard of the Atlantic' Kate makes first appearance since royal pregnancy Death of Total CEO will not affect Kashagan project: Kazakh Vice-Minister of Energy Nursultan Nazarbayev condolences on Total CEO death Yahoo profit surges on Alibaba divestment, mobile Russia blames 'negligent' airport bosses for Total CEO's crash Russia-Ukraine gas talks falter, new meeting next week Apple sees iCloud attacks; China hack reported American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82 Hungary FM to meet a top US diplomat amid visa ban row Pollution in pregnancy linked to lung damage in child Anti-tobacco conference struggles to stub out lobbyists Mozambicans pick president in test for long-ruling Frelimo Gonzalo becomes 'major hurricane' in Atlantic: US forecasters Facebook, Apple to cover women's egg-freezing: report Astana cycling team skips Tour of Beijing over doping Malala dedicates Nobel award to 'voiceless' children Kazakhstani gasoline prices to match Russian by 2019: Karabalin Nazarbayev offers Russia to cooperate in geological exploration of Caspian Depression Kazakhstan to face West vs Russia sanctions with investments: Kelimbetov Animated 'Boxtrolls' take US by storm Australia PM Abbott applauds FBI partnership Indonesian parliament to vote on controversial election plan Electronics giant Philips to split in historic move 'Friends' fans flock to New York pop-up cafe Russia could restrict airspace in sanctions battle: PM Philippine airport bomb plotters planned anti-China attacks: govt German jobless rate unchanged in August: data Galileo satellites not on right orbit: Arianespace Paris relives the joy of liberation, 70 years on US dominates Chinese world university rankings Jasmine and smoke: the allure of Greek summer cinemas Thousands mark Moon death anniversary in S. Korea India stray dogs to be part of security squad‎ Russia okays $150 mn to subsidise World Cup venues Tennis: Kazakhstani Zarina Diyas gets in WTA Top-100 Facebook wants to beam the Internet from the sky

Light rail opens in S. Korea amid financial fears

19 june 2012, 16:41
265 0
With sleek railcars sliding along elevated tracks, South Korea's newest light railway is a smooth ride, and the hope is that it can avoid the fiscal train wreck facing similar projects, AFP reports.

But passenger estimates for the rubber-wheeled, driverless light rail transit (LRT) system, which will open to the public in Uijeongbu city north of Seoul on July 1, have already been scaled back.

And government researchers say the 11.1-kilometre (6.9 mile) stretch of line, which was built under a public-private partnership deal, will cost taxpayers 10 billion won ($8.6 million) a year for the next decade on top of the vast sums already spent.

"Other LRT projects in the country went awry but we believe this one will be different," said Lee Myung-Se, vice president of Uijeongbu LRT Co.

"Unlike other LRTs, there will be enough demand as it passes through the most populated areas and carries commuters fast to a station where they can transfer to the main subway line linked to Seoul."

The 15-station line took five years and cost 547 billion won ($469 million) to build -- 297.4 billion won from a South Korean consortium led by GS Engineering & Construction and 249.6 billion won from taxpayers.

The French unit of multinational Siemens won orders worth 157 million euros ($196 million) and hopes the project will pave the way for other LRT contracts in South Korea, one of the world's most densely populated large countries.

"An LRT system is quite ideal for Korean cities because of its flexibility and low costs compared to traditional heavy subway systems," Benoit Pirard, commercial manager of the project, told AFP.

Researchers for the national parliament are not, however, hopeful about the bottom line. The initial forecast in 2006 estimated daily average passengers at 57,000 but this was scaled back to 31,000 last year.

Based on the latest estimate, the National Assembly Research Service (NARS) predicted in April the line would likely lose 10 billion won a year for the next 10 years.

This means the city, with a population of 450,000, will have to pay up to 10 billion won a year to Uijeongbu LRT Co under a minimum revenue guarantee.

"In light of the size of the city's budget, it is true this leaves a considerable burden on us," Lim Hee-An, deputy director of the city government, told AFP.

"However, we think it is worth it to help ease traffic congestion."

With LRTs opening around the country, critics have accused politicians standing in provincial elections of exaggerating demand to push through "pork-barrel" projects in return for support.

And the NARS warned in a separate April report that LRT projects and most other infrastructure projects being privately financed under minimum revenue guarantees from local governments were like ticking fiscal time bombs.

Public-private partnerships were introduced when South Korea was engulfed by the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

The NARS said they are now set to suck up 41 trillion won of taxpayers' money over the next 20 years, without taking LRT projects into account.

The country's first LRT, extending 24 kilometres (15 miles) between Gimhae and Busan on the south coast, opened last September amid fanfare.

But so far it has carried an average 31,000 passengers per day, just 18 percent of what had been predicted, according to NARS.

Unless usage improves, it will face a 1.6 trillion won bill over the next 20 years to compensate private investors who built the project.

Yongin's LRT, which is due to open in April, has been dogged by controversy over financial haemorrhages, corruption scandals and delays, while daily passenger estimates have been cut from 160,000 to 30,000.

Yongin city faces the prospect of repaying 1.8 trillion won to investors over the next 30 years, NARS said, even under a contract recently amended in the city's favour.

Another LRT line is being built in the northeastern Seoul district of Dobong, while eight other small projects are planned in the capital plus three in provincial cities, according to the construction ministry.

Yun Sun-Chul of watchdog group Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice questioned whether these projects were worthwhile.

"Irresponsible pork-barrel promises, loose oversight and sparse consideration for effectiveness against costs are to blame," he said.

"The country really needs neutral experts to inspect election promises to examine whether they are economically viable and socially justifiable, before provincial authorities blindly set off on them."
Write your comment
Please introduce yourself:
Inicate your e-mail (confirmation required):
You can also log in as:
Comment:
By pressing "Send" button, you express your agreement with the rules of comment section
Sea of candles marks 'magical' rally that shook Berlin Wall
Some 200,000 people joined a candlelight procession marking a watershed mass protest 25 years ago that helped bring down the Berlin Wall a month later.
680 0
The Eiffel Tower in numbers
he Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world that charges for entrance. Here is a factfile on France's iconic building.
651 0
Berlin passion for 1940s fashion untempered by WWII hue
With her blotted red lipstick, perky coiffed curls and fitted 1940s skirt suit, Constanze Pelzer looks like she's stepped off a World War II film set. From head to toe, the 49-year-old German is the picture of 1940s elegance -- from the little glasses and striking jewellery to her red sling-backs, her entire outfit is authentic.
602 0
'Miracle' of the Marne: the WWI battle that changed history
At the start of September 1914, after just one month of war in Europe, the German army were at the gates of Paris. The word on the street was that Emperor Wilhelm II had already booked a dinner table on the Champs-Elysees.
690 0
Madagascar unleashes poisoned rain to break locust plague
The choppers swoop in, dumping insecticide over a plague-stricken village in Madagascar's stunning central highlands.
673 3
A day at the Met: opera for New Yorkers and the world
In a cramped backstage area at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, French mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch adjusts her 19th century dress.
4 737 1
Nazi past overshadows genius of Porsche
The name Porsche has long made sports car enthusiasts swoon but the Nazi past of the famous brand's founder has left his Czech hometown sorely divided over his legacy.
597 0
Paraguay group turns garbage into sweet melodies
Parents all over the world often complain about their children's music being garbage.
625 0
Most Read
Most Discussed
Today
Week
Month
Яндекс.Метрика