River areas may be expropriated for the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project following a request by the Taoyuan County to the Ministry of the Interior, County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) said.
Local governments are responsible for expropriating land for major infrastructure projects, but river areas tend to fall under the jurisdiction of the central government, the commissioner said.
Wu told a radio show on Friday that 40 hectares of private land bordering four rivers and 21 ponds are proposed to come under the land acquisition plan for the project.
The project would design a sustainable water environment for area, Wu said, adding that the county plans to submit the proposal when the ministry begins urban planning reviews for the project.
The county estimates that 8,000 households will need to be relocated to make way for the project, but Wu was confident Taoyuan could avoid the acrimony seen in other parts of the nation.
He insisted that the residents’ interests will be protected by making sure that their new homes will be ready for occupation before they are moved, and by a relocation process of one village at a time.
Wu said the aerotropolis would be positioned in a region that already has major aviation hubs.
He said that Taiwan’s location compares favorably to that of Hong Kong and Singapore, and that the aerotropolis development will highlight that advantage, while helping local industries upgrade their operations.
The objective behind the project is to encourage local industries to evolve into centers of technical, research and development, and intellectual property expertise to create opportunities for multinational service providers, including exhibition and entertainment companies, venture capitalists and legal and accounting firms, Wu said.
An estimated NT$500 billion (US$16.57 billion) is to be invested in the aerotropolis project, which is expected to create 300,000 jobs and generate NT$2.3 trillion in economic activity.