Tue, Aug 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Sansia residents protest planned MRT line station

PUSHING PRICES:The land is zoned for agriculture, meaning that the township residents would not receive compensation large enough to afford any nearby homes

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Residents affected by a planned New Taipei City Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line called for the elimination of a planned station near Maizaiyuan (麥仔園) yesterday, citing controversy over land usage.

“This isn’t Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義). The planned stations are far too close for a satellite district like ours. It seems to be motivated mainly by a desire to force up surrounding land prices,” said Liu Ping-feng (劉秉峰), spokesman for the self-help association of Lungpu Township (龍埔) in New Taipei City’s Sansia District (三峽).

The planned Maizaiyuan station between the Henghsi and National Academy for Educational Research stations should be removed, Liu said.

The planned Sanying Line linking New Taipei City’s Tucheng (土城), Yingge (鶯歌) and Sansia districts is slated for completion in 2023. The city’s Department of Rapid Transportation Systems Web site says construction is 12 percent complete.

There are only a couple of kilometers separating Maizaiyuan station from the next one, far shorter than the 5km distance between Dingpu and Yongning stations on the concluding section of the Bannan Line (Blue Line) to which the Sanying Line will connect.

The affected land is one of Sansia’s few remaining agricultural zones following repeated expropriations by the National Academy of Education Research and National Taipei University, Liu said.

“This would not be such a big problem if there were affordable housing, but the payments we would be entitled to for this kind of land would not be enough to buy any nearby homes,” he said, criticizing the city government for beginning construction while still negotiating land appropriation.

“It is like someone pushing the MRT to your living room, then demanding you give up your house to make way. The government is banking on using popular opinion to force us to drop our objections,” he said.

The majority of the affected land is already part of a public road, department officials said, adding that appropriations are on hold while it collects residents’ views and moves through the rezoning process.

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