Fri, Oct 03, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Critics say lake development will pollute reservoir

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

E-mei Lake in Hsinchu County, also known as the Dapu Reservoir, is pictured on Sept 16. Environmentalists have criticized the Hsinchu County Government’s Fu Hsing Impressions development plan, which aims to develop land surrounding the lake into a recreational park.

Photo: Tsai Meng-shang, Taipei Times

Environmentalists have criticized the Hsinchu County Government’s Fu Hsing Impressions development plan — which aims to develop a 62.9-hectare tract of land surrounding E-mei Lake (峨嵋湖), also known as the Dapu Reservoir (大埔水庫), into a recreational park — saying that the county government has made the wrong decision in pushing a plan that would only cause pollution and have grave consequences.

Hsinchu Environmental Protection Association chairperson Chung Shu-chi (鍾淑姬), voicing concern that the development would pollute the reservoir, said the county government should never have promised residents that it would establish the park there.

The county government has proposed to divide the park into a scenic area, a tourist barge dock, a space for cultural and creative activities, a tea bazaar and tea house, a coal museum and a space for general purposes.

Chung said that while temples and recreational facilities have been erected near the lake in recent years, which helped to breathe new life into the area with the tourists they attracted, the lake is a designated watershed that is vulnerable to development.

“The development plans in this area are hardly feasible to begin with, let alone being anywhere near legitimate,” she said.

Lin Rui-chu (林瑞珠), an independent filmmaker who made a documentary on protests staged at the foot of the county’s Siayuan Mountain (下員山) against the establishment of a sludge plant, said that the lake, which actually forms the Dapu Reservoir’s upstream catchment basin, is an ideal location for developing small-scale recreational agriculture and an agricultural economy.

“Tourism is only a spinoff [of local agricultural activities]. If the county government misplaces its priorities, a terrible disaster will ensue,” he said.

Hsinchu County Commissioner Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) said the inspiration for the scenic area and the tourist barge came from residents, who hope that the lake can emulate the “Impression Liu Sanjie” (印象劉三姐) show along China’s Li River (灕江) in Guangxi Province, which he described as a world-class tourist attraction.

The Dapu Reservoir, which was completed in 1960, is nicknamed the E-mei Lake because it is in E-mei Township (峨嵋), Hsinchu County.

With catchment areas amounting to 135 hectares in total, the reservoir supplies water for the irrigation of farmlands along the Chungkang Creek (中港溪) basin.

With nearby tea farms growing Oriental Beauty tea and the tallest bronze Maitreya Buddha statue in the nation in its vicinity, the site has enjoyed soaring popularity in recent years, making E-mai Lake one of the most-frequented tourist spots in Northern Taiwan.

This story has been viewed 1976 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top