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Relocating to Tongzhou seen as wise

Updated: 2015-06-24 07:12

Relocating to Tongzhou seen as wise

Lucheng town in Tongzhou where Beijing will relocate municipal administrative bodies to ease the pressure on public services. [Photo/IC]

Moving municipal bodies from downtown would ease pressure on services, report says 

Beijing needs to relocate municipal administrative bodies to the eastern Tongzhou district to ease the pressure on public services, according to the capital's leading think tank.

The Beijing Academy of Social Sciences released its annual report on public services on Tuesday, saying the gap between public services in different areas of the city has not narrowed in recent years.

Suburban areas have been given more attention to promote economic growth, while public services such as education and health have not attracted the same attention.

The report suggested that the municipal government needs to relocate its administrative bodies from the downtown area to Tongzhou district to improve the public services and attract more of the population out of overcrowded areas.

"Those administrative departments should play a leading role during the relocation, since they are the decision-making bodies of Beijing's city restructuring plan," said Pang Shihui, a researcher from the academy.

Tongzhou district has drawn much public attention since a rumor that the municipal government would move to a compound in the district went viral online following a report on June 13 by Wenweipo, a Hong Kong newspaper.

The newspaper said that the top leadership of the Party and the government in the capital will relocate to Tongzhou district before National Day on Oct 1, with the details of the move to be released soon.

Municipal government offices are currently located on Zhengyi Road, near Tian'anmen Square, and other administrative organs are scattered throughout the downtown area. The newspaper said they would be relocated to Lucheng township, outside of the eastern Fifth Ring Road.

In addition, many public hospitals, universities and large State-owned enterprises will also move out, amounting to a shift of people equivalent to 15 percent of the city's population of over 21 million.

The municipal government neither confirmed nor denied Wenweipo's report.

In May, Mayor Wang Anshun said Beijing had no plan to relocate its administration bodies to Tongzhou district, according to a report by chinanews.com.

As early as 2004, many urban planning experts were suggesting that Beijing make Tongzhou district a subcenter.

In 2012, the municipal government announced for the first time that the district would be promoted as a subcenter.

Some experts fear the recognition may have come too late.

"Tongzhou district has actually become a well-developed area and also the home of more than 1 million people. It should have been a solution to the population burden of the city," Pang said.

"Without an overall plan, transferring people from the center to the suburb brings nothing but even worse traffic jams."

Contact the writers through zhengjinran@chinadaily.com.cn

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