Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Residents urge probe into Taoyuan Aerotropolis plan

TOO HASTY?Taoyuan residents questioned the need for expropriation to make space for the project, saying it had not yet been thoroughly thought through

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan County residents stage a protest against the Taoyuan Aerotropolis construction project in front of the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Questioning the legitimacy of a Taoyuan County plan to take over their land as the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project is yet to be finalized, residents from Dayuan Township (大園) yesterday requested that the Control Yuan launch a probe into the development project.

“The detailed planning of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project will not start for another nine years, so I don’t understand why the government is hurrying to take over our land and houses,” Chan Chiu-hsiung (詹秋雄), the chairman of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Victims’ Self-Help Association, told a brief press conference held outside the Control Yuan building in Taipei before going inside the make the petition.

The project would require more than 6,000 hectares of land, affecting nearly 20,000 residents.

In its initial phase, which involves expanding Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the addition of a third highway, the project would require the seizure of 114 hectares of land and forced eviction of 9,000 people.

It is not the first time Chan has faced land expropriation. To make room for the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 1 hectare of farmland and nine houses belonging to Chan’s family were expropriated 40 years ago.

Liu Pi-chieh (劉丕傑), another resident, questioned whether it is necessary to seize land before a detailed plan is released.

Taiwan Rural Front researcher Hsu Po-jen (許博任) said relevant government authorities have only started to study prospective industries to run in the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project this year.

“Apparently the government is not sure what they are going to do with the project yet,” Hsu said.

He said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has proposed three plans for airport expansion.

“While all three plans could satisfy the need, and Plan A has the least impact on residents in the surrounding area, the Civil Aeronautics Aviation [CAA] somehow chose Plan C, which has the biggest impact on the residents,” Hsu said. “This is in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act [行政程序法], which stipulates that any move by the government should be done in a way that has the least impact on the people.”

An executive secretary of Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Wang Pao-hsuan (王寶萱), said the residents and their supporters have therefore come to the Control Yuan to ask it to probe “why the CAA decided to pick Plan C instead of Plan A or Plan B.”

The petition was accepted by Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), who agreed to look into the case.

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