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Dapu residents vow to appeal verdict

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Although the Taichung High Administrative Court in January issued a ruling in favor of four demolished Dapu households, the residents of the households yesterday decided to appeal the verdict and fight for the right to rebuild their houses at the original sites.

The court ruled that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) should revoke its order to demolish the four households; however, the court dismissed the other 19 plaintiffs' cases as they had already accepted compensation.

The MOI announced before Chinese New Year that it will not file an appeal against the ruling, noting that it will seek cooperation with the Miaoli County Government to communicate with the members of the four households regarding the reconstruction matter.

Stressing that the High Court's verdict dismisses the households' request to rebuild the homes at the original sites as the locations have already been built into roads, the MOI said the residents' demand is not an option.

The Miaoli County Government also announced yesterday that it will follow the MOI's decision not to appeal the High Court's ruling, adding that the county government has always respected the MOI's decisions and abided by its orders regarding the Dapu land expropriation project.

One of the Dapu residents, Chu Ping-kun (朱炳坤), whose household was demolished last July, said he insists on reconstructing his house at its previous location, saying, “just redraw the crosswalk, it is very easy to solve the problem.”

The attorney representing members of the four demolished households, Thomas Chan (詹順貴), said the main request of the appeal would ask the government to return the household members' original lands.

Chan went on to say that the Dapu land expropriation is illegal, and the court should have ruled that the government give the other 19 plaintiffs' lands back.

MOI's Response to Decision

MOI Deputy Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) said he respects the Dapu residents' decision, noting that the ministry will not close the door for negotiations, and that it is willing to keep listening to their opinions.

As for the demolished household members' demand to reclaim their original lands, Hsiao said that some of the households' locations are in the middle of the road, and thus their request will affect the entire urban development project; it could be “very hard” to get what they want.

Court Rules Dapu Project Legal

The Taichung High Administrative Court yesterday ruled in favor of the MOI and the Miaoli County Government regarding the legality of the Dapu urban development project.

The court deems that the MOI and Miaoli had abided by every regulation in terms of approving the Dapu project, and thus dismissed the demolished households' argument.

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