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New Taipei City government plans to demolish illegal structures

The city government will tear down up to 200 roof top structures

New Taipei City government plans to demolish illegal structures

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The New Taipei City Government announced on Thursday that it would tear down up to 200 illegal rooftop structures after the recent fire that killed 9 people who were living in an illegally constructed apartment on rent.

The demolition process is supposed to begin early December, according to the announcement made by the city government.

According to Chu Ti-chih (朱愓之), head of the city's Public Works Department, the department is looking to tear down about 205 such illegal structures and will start the process by December 8.

The crackdown is a result of the fire that took place last week where 9 people lost their lives. They were living in an illegally constructed fifth floor that was partitioned into 13 rooms for rent.

In addition to the announcement, Chen Chia-hsing (陳嘉興), deputy head of New Taipei's Illegal Construction Demolition Corps, said the city government has already been tracking down these illegal additions to buildings even before the fire and have uncovered 930 such cases since 2015 of which 725 have been torn down.

Chen also mentioned one special case, where a two-story building had four additional illegal floors constructed and the total partition was up to 158 units.

That case specially took extra manpower and resources to tear down, wasting a considerable amount of public resources, he said.

The remaining 205 units are scheduled to be taken down starting next Friday and the notice has been duly sent to the owners already.

In order to vacate the properties, government have cut water and electricity in advance but if tenants still choose to stay until December 8, the demolition corps will have to forcefully dismantle the structures, concluded Chen.