Tue, Dec 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ko, minister meet to discuss stalled Shezidao project

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, left, yesterday shakes hands with Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong after a closed-door meeting at the Ministry of the Interior in Taipei to discuss a proposed development project for Shilin District’s Shezidao peninsula.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday met with Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) to discuss a long-stalled proposed development project for Shilin District’s (士林) Shezidao (社子島) peninsula.

The development, which emphasizes ecology preservation, was proposed by the Taipei Department of Urban Development and passed a review by the city’s Urban Planning Commission in September last year, after which it was submitted to the Ministry of the Interior for review.

As the proposal was submitted more than a year ago and has yet to gain approval, Ko led several government officials to meet with Yeh at the ministry yesterday morning.

The meeting lasted about 50 minutes, after which Ko told reporters that he came to ask if there were problems with the proposal, because it felt like he had failed an exam without knowing the reason.

“Now I know the ministry is more focused on relocation costs, so I told them I would focus my efforts in this direction and resubmit the report,” he said.

He said he also told the ministry that since there has been a ban on construction on Shezidao for 47 years, all the buildings were illegally constructed, “so you cannot expect the development project to proceed smoothly.”

The Construction and Planning Administration has said that after the controversial demolition of four houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔), the government has become more conservative regarding plans that involve relocating residents, he added.

It might be impossible to execute projects without any problems, which is why negotiation is important, Ko said.

“As there has been a construction ban for 47 years, I think the problem can only be dealt with by a mayor who is a little ‘out there,’ like me,” Ko said. “We should push forward when we can.”

Meanwhile, Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) was asked in a radio interview yesterday morning about Ko’s criticism of various political figures, to which Lai said that was just the way Ko speaks.

Asked about Lai’s answer, Ko said: “I just cannot help raising my hand [and speaking out] when I see something weird.”

Ko added that he and Lai were both doctors, so they have similar ways of thinking.

When asked if he cooperated with some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members in criticizing members of the New Tide faction, Ko said: “I have been careful not to get involved with conflicts between DPP factions.”

Although the DPP in 2006 dissolved its factions to bolster party unity, the groupings are still recognized by many people inside and outside of the party.

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