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MOI: No Qingjing inspections until report is released
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-08 03:22 PM
Hsu Wen-lung, Acting Director of the Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), said Saturday that he had urged Interior Minister Lee Hung-yuan not to order on-site inspections of guesthouses in the Qingjing area of Nantou until his agency is able to complete its report on development in the area. Hsu emphasized that the report can be done using existing information including an overlay map of potential disaster spots in the area and that there is no need to sent personnel to make on-site surveys. He added that sending people in could lead to unnecessary encounters and confrontations that will only make things worse.

KMT legislator Ma Wen-chun said it is not necessary for either Lee or Hsu to visit the area but emphasized that drilling, site inspections and other surveys of the area will be needed to determine whether certain developed areas could be in danger. She said that calling for all of the buildings in the area to be demolished will create more problems than it will solve and that if the government orders the leveling of buildings in the area it must be ready to supply ample evidence that they are in potentially dangerous areas..

KMT Legislator Lin Ming-chin added that if Lee Hung-yuan were to go to Qingjing at this time he would be absolutely certain to encounter protests. Lin said that government officials must not handle political problems like they do in movies, urging that rather than being hard and aggressive they must think about what they are doing and how their actions affect people in order to avoid overkill that will only lead to public discontent. Lin appealed to the MOI not to strike out blindly at the bed and breakfast industry in places like Nantou so they will not cause uneasiness in other areas as well.

Hsu Wen-lung noted that the agency’s potential chart overlay map for the Qingjing area was drawn up using a scale of 1:25000 while topographic maps for Nantou County are drawn on a 1:5000 scale. Thus it will be necessary for the CPA to spend some time re-drawing its maps to accurately pinpoint which developed areas are in potentially hazardous areas. He said that the agency will need about two weeks to produce more accurate renderings that will indicate where surveying and inspection may be needed. Hsu said the CPA will work closely with the Nantou County Government, and may also call in representatives from the B&B industry and other sectors of the community to discuss the problem. He added that the aim of the talks to be to reach an agreement that all three parties will find acceptable.

Hsu emphasized that the MOI is tasked with regulation of construction and management, fire protection and fire fighting and naturally would like to see that there is no illegal construction in areas that it is responsible for. He said the CPA will develop a list of which properties need to be demolished and which may only need certain improvements and set a timetable for handling these matters.

Only four of the 134 inns and guesthouses in Qingjing are legally registered, and Interior Minister Lee has said there will be “no room for negotiation” over illegal guesthouses in high risk areas from earthquakes or torrential rain. Nearly half of the 498-hectare scenic area has been designated as “high risk” in a program designed to reduce overdevelopment in the area.

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