Sun, Jan 28, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Residents resist Taipower plans for new substations

SEE NO EVIL? During a public hearing on Friday night a Taipower director said that the high-voltage substations will pose no danger to communities

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

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.

Protests

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 (孫清泉), a borough chief in Guting.

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 (顏聖冠), who is also a resident in Guting area, said the plan had caused a great deal of worry among local residents and that a recent explosion at the Xindian substation that injured six people proved that a substation is not a friendly and safe neighbor to the residents.

`Strongly opposed'

"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 (莊明堅), director of Taipower's power transmission engineering department, argued that the substation would pose no safety threat to the community.

Chuan also said that there is no scientific evidence that electromagnetic waves are a danger to residents.

Significant threat

Hsu Yi-ming (許益明), a borough chief from Guting, questioned Taipower's arguments, sharing with residents his worries that the substation, which would be only 20m away from Taipei Municipal Women's and Children's General Hospital and the Taipei Postal Hospital, would be a significant threat to the health of local residents and patients.

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.

This story has been viewed 2288 times.
TOP top