According to an investigation conducted by the Ministry of the Interior, there are 120 plots of land covering 46 hectares that were expropriated by the government for yet-to-be-built schools, and 103 of those plots have been sitting there waiting to be developed for more than 20 years. Most of the plots have been left unused as fallow land, while some have been turned into simple sports grounds, green parks, or, in some cases, are being occupied by local residents.
The ministry says that, due to the fertility crisis, land that was expropriated for building schools more than 20 years ago will probably never actually see schools built. Hsinchu City, Chiayi City, Taitung County, Penghu County, Kinmen County and Lianchiang County are the only municipalities that have used all expropriated land that was originally intended for building schools. Among the other municipalities, Greater Taichung, with 39 plots, has the greatest amount of unused land that was initially expropriated for building schools. Greater Kaohsiung comes in second place with 16 plots, while Taipei comes in third with 10 unused plots of land.
Despite this, local governments would still like to keep 80 plots of land to build schools, and are only willing to put 25 of the plots up for city planning review to possibly change the use of the land for other purposes.
The ministry says that its Urban Planning Commission will be gradually re-examining and improving the situation, comprehensively looking at unused plots of land that were intended for the construction of schools from an urban planning perspective so that the land can hopefully be used for a merited purpose.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)