中國,請停下你飛奔的腳步 China, please stop your flying pace

中國,請停下你飛奔的腳步,等一等你的人民,等一等你的靈魂,等一等你的道德,等一等你的良知!不要讓列車脫軌,不要讓橋樑坍塌,不要讓道路成為陷阱,不要讓房屋變為廢墟。慢點走,讓每一個生命都享有自由和尊嚴。每一個個體,都不應該被這個時代拋棄。

“China, please stop your flying pace, wait for your people, wait for your soul, wait for your morality, wait for your conscience! Don’t let the train run out off track, don’t let the bridges collapse, don’t let the roads become traps, don’t let houses become ruins. Walk slowly, allowing every life to have freedom and dignity. No one should be left behind by our era.”

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Train Wreck in China Heightens Unease on Safety Standards

Zhaoyun/European Pressphoto Agency
At least 43 people were killed near Wenzhou when two trains collided, sending cars plummeting off a viaduct. There was some confusion over the accident’s cause.
By IAN JOHNSON
Published: July 24, 2011

BEIJING — A deadly train accident in eastern China has added to a national sense of unease that safety may have been sacrificed in the country’s rush to modernize.
Related

At Least 35 Killed and 210 Hurt in Crash of 2 Trains in China (July 24, 2011)

A man at a hospital on Sunday was among 210 injured in the crash. Discussions online expressed fears that safety had become secondary to development.
By Sunday evening, 43 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage near Wenzhou, where a high-speed train that had lost power was struck from behind by another train on Saturday night, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Six cars derailed and four fell off a viaduct in the accident, which also injured 210 people.

In official, government-approved accounts of the accident, officials moved quickly to take charge of the situation. On Sunday morning, President Hu Jintao declared that rescue efforts were a top priority. The government also announced that three senior officials in the Railway Ministry had been fired. The railway minister was said to have taken charge of the rescue operation.

But competing narratives already began emerging Sunday. On the feisty microblogging site Sina Weibo, postings said that the minister, Sheng Guangzu, who took over this year when his predecessor was fired for corruption, had been cornered by angry journalists after he dodged interview requests.

Other reports on the site said the ministry was burying parts of the wrecked trains near the site, prompting critics to say that the wreckage needed to be carefully examined for causes of the malfunction. The Railway Ministry said the trains contained valuable “national level” technology that could be stolen and thus must be buried — even though foreign companies have long complained that the technology was actually stolen from their trains.

More confusion emerged over efforts to portray nature as the culprit in the accident. Xinhua reported Saturday that the first train lost power when it was hit by lightning, and national television broadcasts emphasized pictures of lightning storms in the area. But later reports by Xinhua said the supposedly stalled train was under way when it was struck by the other train. Also left unexplained was why railway signals did not stop the second train before it hit the first one.

An editorial with the headline “No Development Without Safety” on People’s Net, the government-run Web site affiliated with the party’s leading newspaper, People’s Daily, said the Railway Ministry had warned of the risks of lightning in a notice four days before the crash. It said new procedures were needed to prevent accidents. But it noted that these measures had not been put into effect, implying that the railway had no emergency plans for trains struck by lightning.

The editorial also made a broader point that spoke to widespread public dissatisfaction over safety.

“From public transport safety to coal mine safety to food safety, these accidents show that theoretically there is no problem with the conception of safety plans,” the influential site said. “But they are not executed properly.”

The train collision was one of several high-profile public transportation accidents in China recently. Early Friday morning, 41 people were killed when an overloaded bus caught fire in central Henan Province. Earlier this month, an escalator at a new subway station in Beijing collapsed, killing one person and injuring 28. Last week alone, four bridges collapsed in various Chinese cities.

Signaling the official concern over growing public unease, the government issued a directive on Saturday calling for “intensified efforts in preventing major deadly accidents.”

The discussion of accidents in China, however, is haphazard. In an unusually frank editorial in People’s Daily this month, a commentator said that many disasters were covered up but that the country needed “zero tolerance for concealing major accidents,” like a large oil spill that was hidden from the public for more than a month.

Fears that transparency and safety have become secondary to other concerns was present in many Weibo postings on Sunday. One blogger in particular posted an eloquent appeal for more care and caution in China’s rapid development: “China, please stop your flying pace, wait for your people, wait for your soul, wait for your morality, wait for your conscience! Don’t let the train run out off track, don’t let the bridges collapse, don’t let the roads become traps, don’t let houses become ruins. Walk slowly, allowing every life to have freedom and dignity. No one should be left behind by our era.”

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蘋論:中國,請停下你飛奔的腳步
2011年07月27日

「中國,請停下你飛奔的腳步,等一等你的人民,等一等你的靈魂,等一等你的道德,等一等你的良知!不要讓列車脫軌,不要讓橋樑坍塌,不要讓道路成為陷阱,不要讓房屋變為廢墟。慢點走,讓每一個生命都享有自由和尊嚴。每一個個體,都不應該被這個時代拋棄。」

沒有比這段微博留言更合時,更發人深省的了,難怪連《紐約時報》也特地把文字譯成英文放在報道中。我們希望,從鐵道部到國務院到中共中央最高層能仔細咀嚼這段只有一百一十七字的短文,好好反思幾十年來那種「大躍進」式的發展策略帶來的種種惡劣後果。

事實上今次溫州高速火車相撞事故充份暴露「只講速度不理質量」發展模式的弊端及代價。首先,事故之所以發生,顯然跟高鐵系統的安全裝置未能發揮作用有關,顯然跟高速鐵路系統的管理、維修、安全意識追不上有關。鐵道部及中國官方想的只是加快上馬,加快興建,加快速度,好讓中國的高鐵超越德國、日本成為世界第一,好讓中國的高鐵成為世上最快的火車。可是不顧一切的向前衝,其他配套包括管理、安全意識根本跟不上,各種各樣的意外便成了高鐵的宿命,避也避不了。

更可怕的是這種「快刀斬亂麻」式的思維滲進了其他領域,事故的善後及搶救同樣只求盡快了事清場,把乘客的生死放在次要位置,對家屬的苦楚視而不顧。被官方傳媒說成是奇蹟獲救的兩歲女童原來是個別搜救人員抗命不從,堅持再搜索才救回一命的,要不然,她大有可能被急於清理現場、重新開通鐵路的指揮人員連人帶列車殘骸埋在地下。此外,幾十個死傷者家屬滿肚苦水與疑問,要求鐵道部清楚交代及解釋,要求討回公道;鐵道部卻不願多加解釋,只想打發他們回家,甚至以增加一點賠償為餌,希望誘使家屬盡快結案。這樣的做法不但粗疏無理,更是對死傷者及家屬的蔑視。

更可怕的是,正如那段短短一百多字的微博所言,亡命向前飛奔的不僅是高鐵,其他基建,其他工程計劃,其他政策都有同樣的弊端。為了成為建黨九十年的「功績」,號稱世界最長跨海大橋的青島膠州灣大橋未完工就搶先通車,橋上多處護欄都沒有放好,很多該上螺絲釘的地方要不是沒有螺絲就是螺絲沒有上穩,內地媒體也看不過眼而作出批評。

為了盡快興建各式各樣的大樓,讓領導風光風光,很多大樓從建造到內部裝修都馬虎了事。不到幾年,原本金光閃閃的大樓已變得落泊滄桑,並出現大大小小的維修問題如滲漏、喉管破損、天花剝落……等。

還有遍佈全國各地的豆腐渣工程。不管是學校、宿舍以至行車大橋,都一再出現坍塌事故,導致大量人命傷亡。前不久杭州就有一條落成不到十年的大橋突然倒塌,令人瞠目結舌。這些豆腐渣工程當然跟貪污腐敗有關,但掌管工程的人只懂求快不理工程質量也是重要原因。

其實,不能怪個別官員抱持這種「快刀斬亂麻」式的思維,因為盡快「超英趕美」一直是中共政權的策略,從五十年代開始就如是。對各級官僚來說,及時甚或超前完成任務不但配合中央精神,更是建立個人功績的方法,他們自然層層加碼,只求速度,不講安全,不尊重每個生命的尊嚴了。只是,這種「大躍進」式、「粗放式」的發展思維已走到盡頭,已是百病叢生,已令社會及人民付出沉重的代價。是時候放慢腳步,讓每一個中國人都享有自由和尊嚴,不會像列車殘骸那樣草草被處理掉!

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