People living near the planned Beijing-Shenyang High Speed Rail Line are still saying no to the project following the release of a third environmental impact assessment Monday that declares the passing trains will not pose a health hazard nor disturb residents, some of whom live just meters from the track.
More than 50 resident representatives from 10 neighborhoods along the planned track held a meeting Tuesday evening in Beijing. They believe the noise and electromagnetic radiation from the high speed trains could be detrimental to their health, according to the Beijing Times.
"Though railway authorities say that they are going to build above-ground tunnels along the track in populated areas to isolate noise and radiation, the railway is still going to influence the residents' lives as some buildings are only 30 meters from the track," a resident was quoted by the Beijing Times as saying.
The authorities released two previous environmental impact assessments, and had promised to build sound barriers along the track. The third assessment now calls for sections of the track to be completely enclosed.
Chen Yaoxuan, a resident representative from Beijing's Gome Champion City, a residential compound along the planned route, said that her building is only 70 meters from the track. "The radiation will cast a negative impact on residents' health. The railway should not be allowed so near a densely populated area," said Chen.
Numerous neighborhoods along the line are working together urging authorities to change the route to a less populated area.
According to the new environmental impact assessment, the rail line's electromagnetic radiation level meets national standards.
"Electromagnetic radiation isn't harmful as long as the construction of the rail line meets the national standard. However, it is difficult for residents to know how well the standard will be adhered to," Li Ruihua, an expert in electrical engineering from Tongji University, told the Global Times.