Thu, Mar 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Groups confront Ko over Shilin plans

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) was yesterday morning confronted by members of environmental groups and residents asking him to deal with a controversial land development case as he arrived for a meeting in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林).

The group held up a poster with pictures of former Taipei mayors Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), as well as Ko, with sarcastic text that read: “The lands in Taipei can be easily dug up” and asking: “Is the city government going to legalize existing illegal development projects?”

Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) said city government officials who neglected their duties when dealing with a construction project in a 53.82 hectare hillside urban redevelopment zone near the district’s Jingshan Road should be punished.

The zone was originally a hillside protection zone that was rezoned as residential in 1979. A development project in the zone had gained conditional approval after an environmental impact assessment in 1996, but several illegal construction projects were found in the area a few years later.

Tsaoshan Ecology, Culture and History Alliance president Wen Hai-chen (文海珍) said she hoped that Ko would withdraw the development’s permit and investigate the case to punish the officials involved.

Ko listened and accepted their petition, but remained silent and walked into his meeting.

Separately yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) criticized the city government’s delay in building a 90.24 hectare technology park in the Beitou (北投) and Shilin districts, which was planned during Hau’s tenure as mayor.

The park was originally planned to be ready for companies to move in last year, he said.

“The land planned for the park, of which every inch is worth gold, to grow plants and flowers and to hold a Guandu flower festival, is a big waste,” Ting said, adding that Ko delayed the project and has been unable to attract investment for it.

The Taipei Department of Land Administration’s Land Development Agency said the project was divided into two phases, with housing units to be built before residents were forced to move, but it was suspended after the company in charge of building the housing units halted operations.

In related news, Taipei Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) on Tuesday said the city government has met with Taipei Dome contractor Farglory Group (遠雄集團), the Taiwan Architecture and Building Center and the Taiwan Architects Association to discuss progress on construction of the Dome, which has been delayed for three years.

According to building regulations, concert stages and auditoriums cannot be more than 7m underground, but the Dome’s planned auditorium is 10.5m below ground, so it might not be able to host concerts, the urban development department said.

additional reporting by Shen Pei-yao and Hsiao Ting-fang

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