Qingdao Metro mass transit system has suspended a manager and will fine the China Gezhouba Group Electric Power Company 1 million yuan (US$146,000) to penalize them for their malpractice in a scandal surrounding a local metro construction project, Global Times reported.

The company, in China’s eastern Shandong province, will also fine the state-owned Gezhouba company after it was found to have illegally subcontracted parts of the project, which involved the power supply system to the line 1.  

The announcement came after Liu Feiyun, a former contractor involved in the power supply project, told media that the construction had been substandard. 

In response, Qingdao Metro launched an investigation into the construction and announced on Friday that they had found problems involving the uneven laying of steel bars and an uneven thickness of the concrete cushion. 

Gezhouba started installing the power supply for the 4.8 mile long line in March, and the project has been 20% completed, according to Qingdao Metro. 

Qingdao Metro said that it would rebuild the project to ensure its safety.   

According to Liu, the designed space between steel bars of the project is 7.87 inches but in reality it is nine or 9.8 inches. The pipes which protect the power cables are not thick enough, China Central Television reported. 

Such shoddy workmanship will have potentially severe consequences, such as a high risk of road collapse and electric shocks from exposed cables, Liu said. 

Gezhouba subcontracted parts of the project to some other companies, including a Qingdao company called Shunyuanda. 

Shunyuanda again subcontracted the project to Liu’s construction company, which is called Yuanwang. Liu told the media that he decided to blow the whistle on the construction problems due to payment issues with Shunyuanda. 

He also revealed that there were illegal behavior in the subcontracting process for the project.

In response, Gezhouba electronic power company told media that they have also launched their own investigation.