Supporters and opponents of a controversial urban renewal project in Shilin District (士林), Taipei, yesterday engaged in heated exchanges as both sides rallied at the project site awaiting an inspection by the Taipei High Administrative Court — which was eventually canceled.
Dozens of people supporting or opposing the Wenlin Yuan (文林苑) urban renewal project gathered at the project site, as the Taipei High Administrative Court was to inspect the site in preparation for the demolition of the temporary housing the Wang (王) family and their supporters have built.
“The Wangs have lost the court case, the government should quickly move to tear down the illegal building on the project site, so the construction may resume and we can go home earlier,” said Hsieh Chun-chiao (謝春嬌), a representative of the 36 households who agreed to the renewal project.
Hsieh said they had agreed to take part in the urban renewal project because it was backed by the city government.
“We trusted the government, so we agreed to have our houses torn down in exchange for new housing units after the project is completed,” Hsieh said. “We’ve waited for years and we don’t know how long we will still have to wait before we can go home.”
Wang Kuang-shu (王廣樹), a member of the Wang family, disagreed, saying that there were still ongoing lawsuits concerning the project, “hence the construction should not be resumed until everything is solved.”
While the two sides insisted on their own views and had verbal exchanges, the standoff remained peaceful.
The dispute arose when the Wangs, who own two townhouses on a block included in a urban renewal project initiated by Le Young Construction Co, opposed the project and refused to have their houses torn down, while 36 other households on the block agreed to the project.
In March last year, the Taipei City Government demolished the two houses owned by the Wangs by force.
However, the Wangs and their supporters built a temporary house on the site, and the construction remains suspended as several lawsuits concerning the project are still ongoing.
The court later decided to cancel the inspection, worrying that it could trigger more intense clashes between the two sites.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to