Chanting “We love Beitou” and “We want a Beitou cable car” in front of Taipei City Hall, about 400 local residents yesterday voiced their support for a stalled cable car construction plan in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投), urging the city government to restart the project to boost the local economy.
“Eighteen years have passed since the Beitou Cable Car construction plan was initiated. Most Beitou residents support the project because a cable car system would boost local tourism and create more jobs. We can no longer tolerate any delays due to the opposition of a few environmental groups,” said Chou Shuei-mei (周水美), former chairperson of the Taipei Hot Springs Association.
She said that 41 out of 42 boroughs in the district supported the construction of the cable car.
Huang Jing-huang (黃景煌), a Beitou borough warden, joined Chou in blaming environmental advocates for hindering the construction with endless protests.
“We don’t need vicious obstruction from people who are against the project for no reason. It’s time for the voice of the majority to be heard,” he said.
Taipei City Government Secretary-General Ni Shi-biao (倪世標) later accepted a petition from the group.
Taipei City Government Spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) said the city government would hold an environmental impact assessment (EIA) meeting on Friday to determine if the construction should be approved.
The Beitou project’s proposed 4.9km cable car line would have four stops running between Xinbeitou MRT Station and Yangmingshan National Park.
The construction license for the project was revoked in 2005 after then-vice minister of the interior Yen Wan-ching (顏萬進) and Tsai Bai-lu (蔡佰祿), then-director of Yangmingshan National Park, were charged with taking kickbacks from a developer who wanted a construction license for the project.