Amid a corruption scandal involving a development project launched by Taipei City’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS), DPP Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) yesterday accused the department of profiting from another joint development project at the MRT’s Neihu Station.
The DORTS in 2002 acquired land from more than 40 Neihu residents on the intersection of Chengkung Road and Kinglung Road at a price of NT$1 million (US$30,000) per ping for the construction of the MRT Neihu Line, and signed a contract with Ruentex Industries Co (潤泰) to jointly develop the project.
Just 12.6 percent of the land was used to build MRT Neihu Station and the developer is building an apartment complex that is valued at approximately NT$4.8 million per ping (3.3m2).
Under the contract, which granted the developer 68 percent of the completed project’s revenue, the developer will make a profit of more than NT$5 billion, Kao said.
“The department collaborated with developers in an attempt to profit from these joint projects with similar tactics, and it’s hard to believe that top city officials are unaware of this case,” she said in a press conference at the Taipei City Council.
Joint development projects launched by the department have come under scrutiny after two former DORTS officials were detained on Wednesday for their alleged roles in a possible corruption case related to the “MRT Xiaobitan Station Joint Development” project in 2006, also known as the MeHAS City project, in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sindian District (新店).
The MeHAS City project began in 2006 when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was Taipei mayor. It sits on 28,000 ping of land along the Xiaobitan riverside and is valued at NT$30 billion.
The Control Yuan last month reprimanded the department for failing to use most of the acquired land for MRT Neihu Station as it had promised when obtaining the plots, saying that the city government has mishandled the Neihu joint development project.
Kao said the department obtained land for the construction of MRT lines, but sought big profits by joining construction companies to use the land for high-rise apartment complexes.
He urged the city government to examine the joint development project to prevent corruption.
Sun Wen-yu (孫文瑜), a division chief at Taipei City’s development department, said the city government has established a cross-departmental committee to discuss the ratio of the project’s revenue for the developer on the Neihu joint development projects.
The city government’s revenue ratio is estimated at 32 percent.