Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Shezidao residents demand repeat of household poll

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Dozens of people yesterday staged a protest outside Taipei City Hall, urging the city government to redo a household survey in Shilin District’s (士林) Shezidao (社子島) peninsula before starting an urban development project.

Development has been banned on Shezidao since 1970, when the low-lying peninsula was designated as a flood retention basin, but the Ministry of the Interior in June last year approved the Ecological Shezidao urban development plan following a vote on the city’s i-Voting online polling platform in 2016.

The protest was staged before an environmental impact assessment (EIA) meeting was held at the Taipei Department of Environmental Protection.

The protesting Shezidao residents held white banners that read “[Taipei Mayor] Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is forcefully evicting Shezidao,” “Siaolin Village (小林村) was wiped out by a natural disaster, but the destruction of Shezidao will be caused by the Ko disaster,” and “Shezidao wants development, but also protection of local rights,” and accused the city government of neglecting residents’ rights.

Fuan Borough (福安) Warden Hsieh Wen-chia (謝文加) said the residents are most concerned about the relocation of households.

The city government conducted a household survey, but the process was inaccurate with regard to eligibility for relocation subsidies, Hsieh said, adding that a local hearing was rushed through and some residents could not express their opinions.

Fuzhou Borough (富洲) Warden Chen Hui-min (陳惠民) said he was notified about the EIA meeting only four days in advance, adding that the city government did not communicate with borough wardens before announcing that it would hold a public hearing about the project on Monday and Tuesday next week at the Shilin District Office.

Many elderly residents have trouble moving and the traffic on the peninsula is not convenient, so they hope the public hearing can be held on Shezidao, Chen added.

No government officials directly responded to the protesters’ demands.

However, Taipei Land Development Agency Director Huang Chun (黃群) later told the EIA meeting that when the household survey was conducted, some of the households were empty and some residents were unwilling to be interviewed, so the interview rate was only about 48 percent.

As the agency expects more than 300 people to attend the public hearing next month, it decided to hold it at the Shilin District Office, which is larger, but the venue can be reconsidered, he said.

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