Sun, Apr 12, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei government promises to gauge opinion on wharf

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS Muzha residents want an environmental impact evaluation on a proposal to build a recreational wharf in Jingmei River

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would gauge public opinion and communicate with the central government after a planned recreational wharf along the Jingmei River met with opposition from residents and city councilors.

The Ministry of Economic Affair’s Water Resource Agency proposed the wharf last year, along with a rubber dam under Hengguang Bridge to allow for water sports such as kayaking.

Taipei City’s Hydraulic Engineering Office was tasked with implementing the project.

EVALUATION

Several Taipei City councilors and a group of Muzha (木柵) residents expressed concern about the project’s impact on the environment and urged the city government and the ministry to conduct an environmental impact evaluation before beginning construction.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) said the agency had budgeted NT$200 million (US$5 million) for the wharf project without presenting an analysis of the impact it would have on the environment and flooding.

DEEPER WATER

Huang Chi-feng, deputy director of the engineering office, said that under the proposal, a 2.5m high rubber dam would be built under the bridge to slow the river and increase its depth for water sports.

This would allow recreational activities on the stretch of river between Hengguang Bridge and Wanfu Bridge near Taipei Zoo, he said.

Residents opposed to the project have teamed up. A representative for the group, Hsu Chi-wei (徐智薇), said the agency should halt the project until it had addressed issues such as public safety and water pollution.

Huang said yesterday the city government had planned to begin the project this year, but the office would hold public hearings with residents and experts first.

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