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Taiwan High Speed Rail takes noise compensation ruling to court

Taiwan High Speed Rail takes noise compensation ruling to court

Taipei, July 25 (CNA) Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) has filed a lawsuit against a ruling by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) that the company must pay compensation to certain residents living along the high speed railway. The EPA's impact assessment committee had earlier decided that the THSRC should pay a total of NT$8.33 million (around US$270,000) to 26 residents in Miaoli County, on grounds that the noise from the bullet trains had caused them to suffer insomnia and mental health disorders. Since the high speed rail began commercial operations in 2007, THSRC has received numerous complaints from residents along the route about excessive noise. THSRC has responded by saying that the noise from its trains measures only about 70 decibels, well below the 80 decibels set by the EPA as the regulated noise control level for residential areas. Earlier this year, 54 Miaoli residents submitted a request to the EPA, asking the impact assessment committee to resolve the issue. The residents said they were bombarded by the noise from the bullet trains night and day, and they asked for a total compensation package of NT$42 million. The EPA committee ruled that THSRC should pay NT$8.33 million in compensation to some 26 residents who lived within 300 meters of the railway. The residents said, however, that they did not care much about the compensation but rather wanted the THSRC to address the problem by means such as building walls to help block out the noise. Noting that the EPA's decision was a groundbreaking one, chairman of the impact assessment committee Lin Fu-lai (???) said THSRC must pay compensation to 26 Miaoli residents. He said that although the noise level was recorded by authorities at under the EPA regulated 80 decibels for residential areas, it may be more disturbing in rural areas. Under such circumstances, the committee decided that THSRC should pay compensation, Lin said. TSRC, however, has decided to take the case to court and has filed a suit in the Miaoli District Court. (By M. H. Chang, K. C. Lu, S.F. Wong and Lillian Lin)

Updated : 2021-09-21 14:25 GMT+08:00