Sun, Nov 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Dalinpu Village residents petition for fair relocation

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Residents from Kaohsiung’s Dalinpu Village (大林蒲) yesterday petitioned Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊), urging her to act on her promise to let residents relocate under fair conditions.

The village has been surrounded by more than 800 air-polluting facilities operated by China Steel Corp, Taiwan Power Co and CPC Corp, Taiwan, as well as other shipbuilding and petrochemical businesses for decades.

Former premier Lin Chuan (林全) and Chen, then Kaohsiung mayor, in November 2016 visited Dalinpu to formally apologize to residents for the air pollution, while promising that the government would relocate them and allow them to apply for a land swap, exchanging land for an equal-sized plot somewhere else.

However, Premier William Lai (賴清德) last month approved a plan to build an industrial park in Dalinpu, leading residents to suspect that the government did not plan their relocation out of concern for environmental justice, but for profit.

Most residents had accepted the relocation plan due to its favorable conditions, but they suspect that the Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to acquire their land in line with the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例), ultimately resulting in an unfair deal, said Lin Hung-li (林宏歷), director of a group representing Dalinpu’s six boroughs.

What the government is doing should be termed “forced eviction,” instead of a “relocation,” given that the ministry conducted the plan without civic participation, said Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), a professor of land economics at National Chengchi University.

The protesters called on Chen push the city government to hold a public hearing on the issue.

The Presidential Office sent an official to accept the petition, but had not responded to the issue as of press time last night.

Chen on Friday said that the government would keep its promise.

Additional reporting by CNA

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