The Taipei City Government yesterday said that it has submitted nine development project proposals to the Cabinet for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Construction Project in the hope of obtaining NT$50 billion (US$1.64 billion) of the NT$880 billion budget earmarked for the eight-year project.
The proposals include plans to build the city’s first north-south rail system, a flood retention facility in Shilin District’s (士林) Shezidao (社子島) peninsula, a water pipeline connecting the Beishih River (北勢溪) and the Jhihtan Water Purification Plant, an art complex at Taipei Expo Park, a biomass plant and a “green” energy park, a biotechnology industry cluster in Nangang District (南港), a financial park in Xinyi District (信義), energy-efficient “smart” power grids and a collaborative initiative between the city government and the private sector to create “smart” city infrastructure, Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said.
The city plans to build a biomass plant on land zoned for waste processing to bypass an urban design review, Taipei Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Lu Shih-chang (盧世昌) said.
The “green” energy park, to be undertaken by Tatung Co, would include photovoltaic panels and biomass facilities to be built on the Shanzhuku landfill to improve Taipei’s utilization of “green” energy, Liu said.
The financial park is to be built on Xinyi Road, Sec 5, at the site of the city government’s Xinyi District Office.
The office, which has been ruled to be a “sea sand building” — built from cheap, ocean-sourced sand — is to be demolished and the site is to be rezoned for commercial use, the city government said.
The rail system is to be built in the eastern part of the city and would connect Neihu (內湖) and Xinyi districts and potentially Nangang and Wenshan (文山) districts, Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems Chief Secretary Wang Wei (王偉) said.
It would likely connect with the MRT Bannan, Wenhu, Tamsui-Xinyi and the planned Minsheng-Shijhih lines, Wang said.
The city seeks to build a biotechnology park in Nangang with technical support from Academia Sinica, forming an industry cluster of biotechnology firms as part of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) East Gateway Initiative to boost development in the area.
The water pipeline, proposed in 2015 in the wake of Typhoon Soudelor, is to connect the Beishih River and the water purification plant, bypassing a section of the river where water is prone to turbidity during torrential rain, thereby preventing murky tap water from being supplied to homes in and around Taipei.
The NT$2 billion project is being reviewed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Taipei Water Department said, adding that the pipe is to be completed no later than 2023.
Liu said that the Cabinet has yet to review the proposals, and that further details on the projects would be disclosed following discussions between city and central government agencies.
Additional reporting by Ho Shih-chang
TRICKED INTO MOVING: Local governments in China do not offer any help, and Taiwanese there must compete with Chinese in an unfamiliar setting, a researcher said Beijing’s incentives for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China are only intended to lure them across the Taiwan Strait, after which they receive no real support, an expert said on Sunday. Over the past few years, Beijing has been offering a number of incentives that “benefit Taiwanese in name, while benefiting China in reality,” a cross-strait affairs expert said on condition of anonymity. Strategies such as the “31 incentives” are intended to lure Taiwanese talent, capital and technology to help address China’s economic issues while also furthering its “united front” efforts, they said. Local governments in China do not offer much practical
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),
PUBLIC POLL: More than half believe Chinese drills would make Taiwanese less willing to unify with China, while 36 percent said an invasion was highly unlikely Half of Taiwanese support independence, according to the results of a poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, which also found that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) support rating fell by 7 percentage points. Fifty percent of respondents supported independence, 25.7 percent supported maintaining the “status quo” and 11.8 percent supported unification, while 12.1 percent had no opinion, did not know or refused to answer, the foundation said. Support for independence is the new mainstream opinion, regardless of which party is in power, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said. Insinuations that Taiwan wants to maintain the “status quo” are a fabrication that
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old