Busan News for Thursday, March 4th, 2010

East Busan Tourism Complex Sites to be Sold

Sites at the DongBusan tourism complex will be will be divided and sold separatedly now that the project has been delayed for a short time due to a lack of investors. The Busan Metropolitan Corporation said that it is hard to more forward with the project because it has yet to draw in a massive resource of capital. The corporation said that it would find investors by slicing up the complex into individual units and facilities. The entertainment and beach zones will be divided into 185 square meters plots first and investors will be sought after until the 25th. This new tactic has increased the voices of concern about the project now that it is proceeding in a way without unity.

Busan to the North Pole: Discussions Start

As the discussion flourishes over developing a route to the North Pole, the city of Busan is aggressively preparing to make the outcome reap even bigger benefits.

The city is planning to hold a presentation to share its ideas with the North Pole Route consultant and preparation group at the Korea Maritime University.

The North Pole Route consultant group was formed in January and is made up of 20 experts from industry, academia, institutes, and the government. In the first part of its presentation, the city will share a variety of opinions on marine transport, maritime logistics, shipbuilding and energy.

If the route becomes successful, the Busan Port would be a key transshipment port between Asia and Europo, cutting down distances and travel times by at least 40%. 

Water Quality improving at the Nakdong River

The water quality at the mouth of the Nakdong River is improving.

According to the Busan Water Authority, the biochemical oxygen demand, of BOD of the water from the  물금 intake place marked 5.5ppm(㎎/ℓ) in late February.

This figure is considered level 4 and is an indication of poor water quality.

 The chemical oxygen demand or COD was also level 4 at the same time. However, the water quality is expected to improve thanks to recent heavy rain around the upper and middle regions of the river and the booming zooplankton population.

 Budget Shortfall in Busan

Reports show that the budget shortages of 16 districts and counties add up to over 160 billion won this year.

The total budget shortage hit 162.1 billion won, including 37 billion won in lost real estate tax revenue and 5.2 billion won less in property taxes.

Although the city will be able to raise 110 billion won in tax revenue, including 21 billion from shared real estate taxes and the reserve fund, it will still be 47 billion won short of its goal.

The city said that it would conduct more research on its financial condition and create a special plan for support.

It also plans to strengthen its regulatory system for local governments, including collecting more overdue taxes and making adjustments to its annual expenditure system.

Busan Birthrate affected by Increase in Premature Babies

As the birthrate in Busan continues to fall every year, more and more couples are getting married later in life and giving birth to premature babies.

Reports show that the number of premature births has risen 70% over the last 4 years. Premature babies are those born after less than 37 weeks of pregnancy or those weighing under 2.5 kilograms.

The number of premature babies has soared from 1000 in 2006 to 1700 last year.

So far, only Busan Baek Hospital at Inje University has expanded its intensive care unit for newborn babies, after receiving support from the government.

150 billion won from the government expenditure went for adding incubators and an additional 40 hospital beds.

Even so, this still leaves Busan 30% shy of its total demand.

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