MOI: rebuilding Dapu structure in same spot not possible

With the Ministry of Interior having announced Tuesday that it will not appeal a decision by the Taichung High Administrative Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling in the demolition of three residences and a pharmacy in Dapu, the two sides in the case are now preparing to sit down and work out an agreement for compensation and rebuilding.

Miaoli County Administrative Director He Wen-teh said Tuesday on behalf of county magistrate Liu Cheng-hung that the county will act in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of the Interior but will wait until after the Lunar New Year break to hold coordination meetings with the ministry.

Vice-minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi issued instructions for follow-up action, including a preliminary agreement between the parties, compensation for the owners in accordance with the Land Expropriation Act, further compensation ass specified by the State Compensation Law and re-building of the residences and pharmacy in another location. The ministry did not set a timetable for action, saying it would leave that up to the four households in Dapu.

The first reaction of the families on hearing the news about the Interior Ministry’s decision was to voice their hopes that they would be allowed to re-build on the original location. Saying "If they had just accepted the initial ruling of the Interior Ministry in the first place, we would not have had to fight them," the residents repeatedly stressed that they wanted to construct a building on the original site..

Vice-minister Hsiao said the High Court decision acknowledges that the original site has already been set aside for a road with a small portion sold off to a third party, and would not be available for re-building. Hsiao emphasized that the ministry will work with the four households to arrive at a solution that will be equitable to everyone concerned.

Hsiao added that the ministry does not plan to issue demerits to local civil servants involved in the case, but apologized to the four households on behalf of the ministry for causing social unrest in connection with the case.

Hsiao pointed out that the relevant development plan is legally valid and will not affected by the court’s judgment in the case. He also reminded the public as well as those in government to learn from the example of this case. He urged both sides to be more cautious and considerate in the future and stressed the value of clear communication to keep a similar situation from happening again.