Tainan Railway underground project

By Katherine Wei, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Part of the central government’s 10 new large-scale construction projects, a segment of 7.55-kilometer-long railway tracks in Tainan is scheduled to be relocated underground, east of its original location.

The original tracks divided the city into two halves, and the plan was to integrate the halves together, adding another two stations — Southern Tainan and Linsen. The city will be keeping the original Tainan Station, constructing additional island-fashioned platforms and four railway tracks in total. A total of 407 families have been asked to relocate, as their homes are in the way of the construction. This has resulted in a string of protests from a self-help association consisting of affected citizens and sympathizers. The affected Tainan citizens will not only be compensated, they are also to be given the privilege to buy land surrounding the Tainan Station at prime cost, said Tainan Mayor William Lai. Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭佳淇) pointed out that “the procedure following the acquisitions is extremely costly if the government were to implement the construction as a ‘general land acquisition,’” said Hsiao. Land acquisition cases are divided into two categories in Taiwan: general acquisitions and zone acquisitions. General acquisitions refer to private land being expropriated for the government to establish businesses and the affected residents being paid compensation in cash, while zone acquisitions are carried out due to government urban construction plans, and the affected are compensated by being allowed a choice between cash or land at lower prices.