Dig it?

By Bryan • china, nanjing, urban planning • 3 Dec 2004

For the past two days the city has been ripping up the street outside of my apartment. I believe they are running a natural gas line into the residential area, but it could be for a number of reasons. The strip hole is being dug by hand, with the assistance of a single jackhammer powered by a generator that was probably constructed during Republican China. This generator is massive, covered in oil, and totally lacks any sort of engine cover. Furthermore, it is mounted on an equally ancient hand cart. There is roughly four or five guys down in the ditch with pick axes, shovels and spades and appear to be moving up the street about ten or twenty meters a day.

Nanjing University (ranked #4 in China) is directly across from the construction. NU is of one of ‘the’ universities to attend in China, apparently very advanced, and well funded with cash injected directly from Beijing. I found it interesting that directly across from a world class university; urban infrastructure was being constructed utilizing manual labour. A little snapshot of the gaps present in China.

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