Shouts & Shoves at Tainan Railway Underground Project Hearing

tainan station concept design
Concept design for the new Tainan Station, part of the Tainan Railway Underground Project. Photo courtesy Railway Reconstruction Bureau

A public hearing for the Tainan Railway Underground Project Thursday morning ended in shouting and shoving from both sides, UDN reported.

Self-help societies and local communities that have significantly delayed the project, officially known as the Tainan Urban District Railway Underground Project, interrupted the public hearing before the scene devolved into shouts and shoves that had to be broken up by local law enforcement.

Chen Chih-hsiao (陳致曉), director of a self-help association of residents affected by plans to appropriate land for the project, said that the public’s concerns have not yet been addressed. Some residents have raised concern over  soil liquefaction and how it may affect structures surrounding the project.

The Railway Reconstruction Bureau said it will go forward with plans to acquire land for the project.

Chen interrupted the hearing and was confronted by people wearing Railway Reconstruction Bureau vests. When called out that the members had no law enforcement authority, police claimed that they did but that their authority should have been made clear.

After interrupting the meeting and being asked to leave, Chen called for the public to boycott the hearing, shouting, “Do not endorse the illegal public hearing.” Outside the meeting, Chen continued to shout about the hearing being illegal.

Work on the project, which is expected to improve traffic in Tainan, officially began in March this year. It spans a total length of 8.23 km and has a total budget of NT$29.36 billion. The project was approved by the Ministry of the Interior in September 2016.

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