The Executive Yuan on Tuesday approved a NT$100.47 billion (US$2.36 billion) plan to relocate residents of Kaohsiung’s Dalinpu Village (大林蒲) due to environmental pollution.
The money is to be spend for the relocation and rehousing projects, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said, adding that residents would receive 1 ping (3.3m2) for each ping of residential or commercial land they own.
He hopes the plan would give residents a better living environment, Su said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is to work with the Kaohsiung City Government to execute the plan, he added.
The village’s residents have been “suffering from environmental pollution for a long time,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said, with nearly 600 petrochemical and steel plants and 800 smokestacks surrounding the village.
Two surveys in 2011 and 2016 showed that up to 88 percent of residents agreed to relocate the village, he said.
Then-premier Lin Chuan (林全) and then-Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) in November 2016 apologized to the village’s residents on behalf of the government for the decades of pollution they endured, Lai said.
Due to the government’s efforts over the past three years, the task of relocating the village has reached its “final stage,” he said.
Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said on Facebook that since joining the Cabinet in January, he has been closely monitoring the progress of the relocation plan.
The plan was incorporated into the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ “new materials circulation industry park” plan during Lin’s premiership, the Kaohsiung Urban Development Bureau said, adding that the city government was asked to carry out the preliminary planning and preparation for the relocation.
The city government in May established a dedicated office for the task, with Deputy Mayor Lee Ssu-chuan (李四川) serving as the convener, the bureau said.
The office is made up of representatives from 13 bureaus and departments, as well as from Siaogang District (小港), where the village is located, and regularly solicits residents’ opinions, it added.
The city government said it would allow landowners to draw for land in a “fair and open” way.
It will do its best to protect the rights of the residents and speed up the process, it said.
However, Hung Fu-hsien (洪富賢), warden of the district’s Fongsing Borough (鳳興), said he has yet to see the relocation plan.
Hung said he does not know what the plan for the “new materials circulation industry park” contains and questions the legal basis for trading “one ping for one ping,” he said.
“Not that we do not trust the government, but we need to see the details of the relocation plan in black and white to feel safe,” he said.
The government is to reportedly purchase commercial and residential land in Dalinpu Village from 2021 to 2022, before building resettlement housing and public facilities.
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