Friday, April 15, 2016

The Radio Scene in the World’s Largest Abandoned City

During the past score of years, several hundred new cities have been constructed in many different areas of China.  These new cities: Some are large and some are small, some are independent self contained units out on the edge of nowhere, and some are nearby adjuncts to large and older cities. 
            This seemingly frantic and hideously expensive building frenzy has produced an uncountable  number of cities that are still largely uninhabited, and the announced intention is to continue this rapid escalation at the rate of 20 new cities each year for the next 20 years.  If the sum of all these building projects is ever completed, and if ever the citizens do move in, it is said that this would be the largest mass migration in the history of planet Earth.   
            Take for example, the new city of Jing Jin.  This project is located south east of the national capital, Beijing.  The entire city was planned to cover 100 square miles, with a major city center and wide spread suburban areas.
            Construction at Jing Jin began in 2002, and thus far 3,000 suburban single family villas have been built, each on its own spacious plot of ground, and plans are in hand for the construction of an additional 4,000 similar villas.  But, currently Jing Jin is just 2% occupied, and the rest lies abandoned.
            The city also contains two colleges, a museum and a golf course, a hot springs resort, as well as a huge number of shops with only a few in operation.  A multi-storeyed 5 star Hyatt Regency Hotel with a capacity for 800 guests is largely empty.
            Jing Jin lies an hour drive from Beijing, but it is just too far for residents to make a daily commute to the capital city.
            Fifty miles inland from Hong Kong lies another massive building project, the New South China Shopping Mall.  This huge shopping center was built on confiscated farmlands and it was planned as the largest shipping mall in the world with space for more than 2300 different shops.  The facility lies almost unoccupied, with 1% in use, and 99% abandoned.            
            Twenty miles outside Beijing, another grandiose project lies in demolished ruin.  The Disneyland style Wonderland Amusement Park was intended to become the largest amusement park in Asia.  Work began on this 120 acre project in 1998, and well before completion it was abandoned. 
            Fifteen years later, what was left was demolished and the land was taken back by its previous owners.  Tentative plans have called for a luxury supermarket on this isolated location. 
            There is one abandoned city in China that has been left vacant for another reason altogether.  The city of Beichuan, with its population of 160,000, is located almost in the center of the nation of China.
             In 2008, a massive earthquake rated at 8.0 destroyed most of the buildings in Beichuan, with the death of 100,000 people, including more than 1300 children at two high schools.  Instead of rebuilding at the same dangerous location, another city with the same name was built for the survivors some 15 miles down stream. 
            Described as the world’s largest abandoned city is Kangbashi, on the edge of the already inhabited city of Ordos in the territory of Inner Mongolia.  Planning for this huge new city began in 2003, and construction work began just one year later.      
            Original planning called for construction on a total of 137 square miles, though work on only 14 square miles has been completed.  This new city would hold one million people, and the total investment would involve $161 billion.  However, Kangbashi is only 2% occupied, snd the rest is going to rot and ruin.
            As completed, Kangbashi has a multi-storeyed unfinished and largely unused hospital, a huge sports stadium complete with unoccupied seating, a futuristic style museum with almost no items on display, an unusual style library with practically no readers, and wide well planned thoroughfares with almost no traffic.  There is a five-storeyed food court, with almost no food available, and a Dancing Music Fountain, the largest in Asia, with a tourist display each evening but very few to watch it.
            What about the radio scene in this fantastic and largely unused fabulous city?  If the city is largely abandoned, then you would expect that there are no radio and TV stations within the city itself.                 If that is your expectation, then you would be correct.  There are no active radio and TV stations in Kangbashi New City.
            However, there is a major radio and TV service in the nearby parent city Ordos, which provides electronic coverage to the few who have taken up permanent residency, some as squatters, in the new Kingbashi.  The government head office for the Bureau of Radio and Television in Ordos is located on 
E'erduosi Street in the district Ejin Horo.
            The Ordos Broadcasting station is located at Manduhai Xiang in Dongshen Ou, and it provides four channels of radio program service, with nine active transmitters on both mediumwave and FM.  On mediumwave are four transmitters, each rated apparently at 10 kW.  The frequencies for these four transmitters are: 603          792  896 and 936 kHz.
            That is the story of Kangbashi New City, which is touted as China’s most famous tourist city.       

 (AWR/Wavescan NSW 372)