Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Leshan Village residents protest forced evictions

ULTERIOR MOTIVES:A professor said the government was being dishonest in its stated plan to build affordable housing, as most of the land was slated for industrial use

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Residents of Leshan Village (樂善) in Taoyuan County’s Gueishan Township (龜山) yesterday staged a protest at the legislature in Taipei over a land expropriation deal after they said the government had failed to seek their consensus before auctioning off the site for a construction project.

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) plans to use the location of the expropriation plan, named “A7 station of the Taoyuan International Airport MRT development project,” to build affordable housing and an industrial zone.

The site is located near the planned Taoyuan International Airport MRT, which will connect Taipei and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport by passing through Linkou District (林口), New Taipei City (新北市), and the borders of Taoyuan County and New Taipei City.

The group yesterday called for the government to conduct negotiations with residents before proceeding with the expropriation process.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安), who accompanied the protesters yesterday, said Leshan Village had about 500 households, with the majority living in the community for decades. However, they are now facing sudden eviction, he said.

Pan said the government held an auction-in-advance for construction companies to bid for the land, before properly communicating with residents.

Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), a professor at the National Chengchi University’s Department of Land Economics, said the government was playing a two-sided act by saying it planned to build affordable housing on 236.63 hectares of land, while it actually only reserved 10.1 hectares (4.27 percent) of the land for housing, with 56.78 hectares (24 percent) slated for industrial use.

The expropriation deal was also a case of procedural injustice because the government did not communicate with residents to work out a suitable relocation plan before making the decision to expropriate their land, Hsu said.

The residents said they only found out last year that their land was slated to be expropriated.

“Officials always reply to us with the response that they are just doing their job in accordance with the law ... We have nowhere to go. We don’t know where to go,” said Hsu Yu-hung (徐玉紅), the chairperson of a self-help group.

The MOI has scheduled a meeting to discuss the case today.

Hsu Yu-hung said she would gather other self-help groups of residents facing land expropriation to resist the government if it continues to neglect their demands.

This story has been viewed 2912 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top