Mon, Apr 07, 2014 - Page 3 News List

‘Bandit’ Lin accused of profiteering

LAND ISSUE:Environmentalists said the lawmaker was set to benefit from a change in plans for an MRT line, which is now to be built partially on property Lin owns

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Several environmentalists yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Te-fu (林德福) of benefiting from a revision to construction plans on a section of the MRT’s Wanda line, a planned addition to the MRT mass rapid transit system that serves metropolitan Taipei.

The environmentalists held banners that read: “Lin — one of the ‘four bandits’ — is wrongly profiting” and “The MRT Wanda line’s Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] report is a forgery.”

Lin has been named by student-led protesters against the government’s handling of cross-strait service trade agreement, as one of “four major bandits” for following President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) orders to the letter as opposed to listening to the opinions of the public.

According to the environmentalists, the plans for a section of the Wanda line in Yonghe District (永和), New Taipei City, gained approval at an EIA specialists’ meeting late last month, but the revised route will require that tens of billions of New Taiwan dollars be added to the project’s construction budget and pollution prevention measures were not clearly explained in its EIA report.

Taiwan Water Resources Protection Union spokesperson Wu Li-huei (吳麗慧) said the revisions have relocated a station to a spot in front of Yong Ping Elementary School, and an additional 700m of track are to pass through an old landfill site in the area.

The revisions would cause pollution in the area by disturbing the landfill site, Wu said, adding that the union was skeptical about the EIA report because it lacked clear waste removal and cleanup measures.

She said that the union also had questions over whether the revisions were made to benefit Lin, because the revised route passes through land owned by the lawmaker.

In response, Lin’s office said the legislator had no part in the revisions to the construction project.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Administration said that although the project gained initial approval at the specialists’ meeting, it still needs to be discussed in an EIA assembly meeting.

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