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Cingjing hostels that violate regulations won't be demolished: Ministry

Publication Date : 08-12-2013


Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan yesterday said he will not order the immediate demolition of hostels at Cingjing in Nantou County that violate regulations, noting that he cares about the employees' lives.

Lee's remark came after several Cingjing hostel operators expressed their concern over their businesses and reputations.

Lee said the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) will announce the names of the hostels located within the middle- to high-risk scope for natural disasters at Cingjing within two weeks, however, it does not mean the MOI will raze those disqualified hostels right away.

Nantou criticises MOI

Acting Nantou Magistrate Chen Chi-ching yesterday criticised that it is “reckless” for the MOI to say that 64 per cent of CingJing Farm is within the middle- to high-risk area.

The maps that the MOI adopted symbolise “potential risks” to natural disasters, “but it does not mean those potential risky areas are definitely dangerous,” Chen said, adding that the MOI's recent remarks had caused panic and concerns to hostel operators and visitors.

Apart from that, it is also misleading for the MOI to say that there are only four legal hostels at Cingjing Farm, Chen said. Hostels that do not comply with current regulations do not mean they are not safe to stay in, he noted, explaining that some of the hostels “merely” violated the Construction Law to expand their scope.

Handle with extreme care: MOI

“There are a lot of things that need to be discussed, such as how to handle those legal hostels that are located within the high-risk land scope,” Lee said, adding that the whole matter has to be handled in an extremely delicate manner.

The MOI's Construction and Planning Agency will work closely with Nantou to handle this issue, Lee added.

In response to hostel operators' criticisms and worries, Lee said it is not the MOI's obligation to execute demolitions. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications takes charges of hostel-related regulations, the Council of Agriculture administrates hillsides and fields management, and Nantou County will be in charge of any demolitions, Lee explained.

CPA to suggest analysing from a distance

Acting CPA Director-General Hsu Wen-lung said given that many people have doubts over the MOI and Nantou's initial land analysis studies, in order to prevent encountering irrational protests, he will suggest the MOI to seek alternative method instead of site investigation.

Hsu said the CPA does not rule out the possibility to invite hostel operators to join discussions.

The MOI earlier this week also revealed that among 134 hostels at Cingjing, only four hostels completely comply with relevant regulations. The ministry also noted that based on initial land analysis, over 64 per cent of land in Cingjing is within the middle- to high-risk scope for natural disasters land scope.

The land analysis method is to overlap potential natural disaster maps that symbolise the growing attention to potential disasters in Taiwan with the map of Cingjing Farm, the MOI explained.

Nantou however, presents a significantly differing result to the MOI's study, suggesting that only 20 per cent of the Cingjing land scope possesses a potential middle- to high-risk to natural disasters.



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