Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Interior ministry to hold meetings on Dapu ruling

MANY HEADS:Officials from Miaoli County, the Construction and Planning Agency and Department of Land Administration will be asked for their opinions

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday said it has received the written verdict on the Dapu (大埔) land expropriation case, and it would decide whether to appeal in 20 days after it meets with local officials and academics.

“We received the verdict from the Taichung High Administrative Court at 9:30am. We have forwarded it to the relevant department to study, and will make a decision on whether to appeal it within 20 days — or before Jan. 29 — as the court stipulates,” Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) said.

“We will discuss the matter with relevant parties before making the final decision, because the verdict could have a profound impact on future development projects as well as ongoing ones,” Hsiao said.

The ministry will hold meetings with Miaoli County officials, the Department of Land Administration and the Construction and Planning Agency, as well as academics, and representatives from other local governments, he said.

The court last week ruled that the demolition, whether partial or complete, of the homes of four families in Dapu Borough, Jhunan Township (竹南), Miaoli County, to make way for the expansion of a science park had been unlawful.

The ruling criticized the ministry and the Miaoli County Government for failing to negotiate a compensation plan with the affected residents and to conduct an actual investigation on the project before approving it.

“The verdict may lead to changes in the land expropriation system and how it is executed, and therefore we would make a detailed research before making the decision,” Hsiao said.

The Greater Taichung City Government has already suspended two development projects involving land expropriation, in Wuri (烏日) and Fengyuan (豐原) districts, following the ruling because officials were worried about the consequences, he said.

Court rulings in lawsuits about land expropriation for Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Changhua Station and a development project around the Taoyuan International Airport MRT station in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Linkou District (林口) may also be affected by the Dapu ruling, Hsiao said.

Asked if the ministry plans to invite academics affiliated with Taiwan Rural Front — including National Cheng Chi University professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), National Taipei University associate professor Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全) and Frida Tsai (蔡培慧), an assistant professor at Shih Hsin University’s Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies, Hsiao said relevant academics and groups would be invited to the meeting, “but not necessarily the group you have mentioned.”

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