Taiwan Power Company's (Tai-power) plan to set up four extra-high-voltage substations in downtown Taipei has met with opposition from local residents and city councilors, who have urged the Taipei City Government to prevent their construction.
Arguing that Taipei City has depended on Taipei County's substations for the last 18 years and that the city will face power shortages by the summer of 2012, Taipower is planning to set up four new substations -- next to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station, at the intersection of Guling and Fuzhou streets in Guting (古亭), in Beitou (北投) District and in Neihu (內湖) District.
Although Taipower has insisted that the city's increasing demand for power would not be satisfied without the construction of new substations and that it has ensured that the substations would not be a threat to the safety of the community, local residents have protested against the plan.
"It's impossible for people not to worry about their health with a high-voltage substation nearby," said Sun Chin-chuan (
Among the four planned sub-stations, the one next to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station is under review by the city government while the one in Guting has not received authorization for a change of land use.
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Yeh Sheng-kuan (
"We have strongly opposed the construction of a substation here, and believe the city government should reject the company's application of a change of land use," Yeh told the Taipei Times.
During a public hearing with residents in Guting on Friday night, Chuan Ming-chian (
Chuan also said that there is no scientific evidence that electromagnetic waves are a danger to residents.
Hsu Yi-ming (
Chuan said Taipower would look at any alternative sites, but that it was very unlikely that any would be found and that the company would have no choice but to build the substation in the designated area.
The Taipei City Urban Redevelopment Office said it would discuss the issue with Taipower.