The Chinese Government has approved a CNY78.7bn ($11.45bn) investment in urban railway projects in Changchun, the capital of the Jilin province.

The investment, approved by the state’s planning board National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), will be used to develop eight subway lines with a combined length of 135.4km in Changchun, National Business Daily (NBD) reported.

According to the media outlet, the funding was announced by the Jilin Development and Reform Commission on its website but was soon withdrawn as official confirmation is yet to be issued.

However, a local Jilin official confirmed the approval to Reuters, stating that the projects have received ‘in general’ approval following a meeting with the NDRC last month.

Overall, the projects will nearly double the urban rail lines in the city, which now has one operational underground metro and two light rail lines.

“The investment, approved by the state’s planning board National Development and Reform Commission, will be used to develop eight subway lines with a combined length of 135.4km in Changchun.”

The approval indicates the Chinese Government’s resumption of investments in infrastructure projects, as part of a scheme that was put on hold in order to reduce local government debt.

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By GlobalData

In 2017, a number of railway projects were also cancelled by local governments due to lack of financing.

Last month, Chinese decision-making body Politburo confirmed that it is planning to reduce the current borrowing restrictions on local bodies to accelerate the growth of the economy.

The construction works of the approved rail projects are expected to begin this year and be completed by 2023.

According to the NBD report, nearly 60% of the overall financing will be received from banks.

In another development, China recently increased the maximum speed of the trains operating on the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway route from 300kph to 350kph.

The initiative will reduce journey times by five minutes.