Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Land near MRTs could be barred from expropriation

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved draft amendments to the Mass Rapid Transit Act (大眾捷運法) that would bar the government from expropriating land adjacent to mass rapid transit (MRT) systems for development purposes.

Expropriation of such land is currently allowed under Article 7 of the act.

The Council of Grand Justices’ Constitution Interpretation No. 732, issued on Sept. 25, 2015, stated that the provisions are “inconsistent with the principle of proportionality under Article 23 of the Constitution, as well as the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s right to property and freedom of residence.”

If the draft amendments are passed by the legislature, they would also give competent authorities the authority to commission existing public transport operators to operate the MRT system as needed, allow exceptions to prohibitions on construction behavior in restricted areas as listed in Article 45-1, with the approval of the competent authority and if necessary measures are taken.

Exceptions are needed to maintain the safety of the MRT’s facilities and the public interest, officials said.

The proposals protect the rights of owners of land adjacent to MRT systems, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.

Along with proposed amendments to the Railway Act (鐵路法), which were also approved by the Executive Yuan, the mass transit-related proposals would establish an inspection and certification system for the items used in the construction of rail transport, such as raw materials and software, Su said.

The amendments would give the nation more autonomy in terms of key technology used in rail transport, facilitate the development of the railway industry and ensure the safety and quality of rail transport, he added.

The amendments are to be sent to the legislature for review.

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