Guangzhou to build 130 subway security checks amid controversy

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/11 0:18:39

A staff member conducts security check at Nanning East Railway Station in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Feb. 15, 2019. Staff members at the station provide service for around 60,000 passengers per day during the Spring Festival travel rush. Photo: Xinhua

A plan by the southern city Guangzhou to spend 270 million yuan ($38.6 million) building 130 external security checkpoints outside subways has sparked controversy as it may also request underground passengers who do not take subways to go through the checks. 

Guangzhou Metro will complete construction of these checkpoints in two years, local media Guangzhou Daily reported.

Anyone entering the subway area, whether they are crossing the street through underground passages or taking subways, must go through the security check, a manager with Guangzhou Metro was quoted by the media as saying. Giving the "green light" to underground passengers might create security loopholes, the manager said. 

The plan triggered controversy online. Some netizens said they supported the construction plan, stressing that security checks are important for preventing crime and dangerous accidents.

However, some others deemed it unnecessary to spend so much money on the equipment in one of the safest cities in China, noting the construction is merely a vanity project.

"The plan causes inconvenience to daily commuting and will waste residents' time," said one netizen. "It will make me feel stressed when walking along the street," read another comment by a Guangzhou-based resident.

A manager with Guangzhou Metro said in a report in April that the external points are more spacious, which will better channel passenger flow and ensure better security.

However, experts called for simplifying the security checks in daily life and making the most use of advanced technologies to crack down on crime and accidents to eliminate safety loopholes.  

Although strengthening public safety awareness is important, authorities should not waste large amounts of money and resources, Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times on Sunday, while warning the Guangzhou authorities to avoid turning the plan into something that is just for show. 

"Convenient, fast, comfortable" should be the aims of the public transportation project, Zhu said, noting that excessive security checks might instead increase residents' sense of insecurity.


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