Sat, Oct 08, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Villagers lodge protest over land expropriation

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Faced with losing their homes to a land expropriation project that was announced by the Taoyuan County Government yesterday, residents of Leshan Village (樂善) in Gueishan Township (龜山) lodged a protest against the pre-auctioning of their land before their agreement was sought.

The expropriation project is part of the “A7 station of the Taoyuan International Airport MRT development project,” which aims to build affordable housing units and an industrial zone near the temporarily named “A7 station” on the planned Taoyuan International Airport MRT line, connecting New Taipei City (新北市) and Taoyuan County.

According to an Executive Yuan document published in August, the project is set to expropriate 1,412 plots of land, about 164 hectares in size. However, residents say only 5.25 percent of the land acquired would be for affordable housing, while 25.31 percent would become an industrial zone.

MRT A7 Station Development Project Self-Help Group chairwoman Hsu Yu-hung (徐玉紅) said “pre-auctioning” the land they live and work on to developers is illegal and it violates the Constitution.

She said the residents have filed a petition with the Control Yuan asking for an investigation into the case and they have received a reply agreeing to investigate whether the pre-auction process is legal, whether proper negotiations with the landowners had taken place and if there is a relocation plan, before Oct. 25.

“If the pre-auction is legal, then our rights can’t be secured and maybe one day the government could pre-auction our country to another country,” she said, adding that it is unreasonable that the land expropriation administrative order overrides the Constitution.

A resident surnamed Lin (林) said there are about 10,000 people working in the area and they would be out of a job if about 400 small factories were evicted from the site.

“We want the government to explain the pre-auction and to put a halt to land expropriations,” Hsu said, adding that the residents would continue to protest if the government insists on ignoring their rights.

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