Illegal demolitions under scrutiny
( 2003-11-26 23:06) (China Daily)
Facing problems emerging in connection with resettlement projects, the Beijing municipal government is taking more effective measures to regulate such projects, where sometimes local people are forcibly driven out of their homes by the wreckers' ball.
The Municipal Bureau of Land Resources and Housing Management has revoked the licences of 13 companies formerly authorized to demolish buildings as part of resettlement projects, because they had forcibly driven people out of their homes or did not pass the bureau's annual check-up of their performance.
The bureau launched a campaign in late September to investigate and regulate the operation of the roughly 300 companies in the city licensed to do demolition work.
The three-month-long campaign, which will run to the end of this year, is regarded as a major move by the city to ease the increasing problems arising in the relocation of people pushed out of their homes to make way for real estate projects, and the resulting threat to social stability.
The bureau opened a hotline early last month for residents to report violations of resettlement regulations.
Actually, relocation problems are a nation-wide phenomenon connected with the drive for urbanization and the ongoing reforms in property rights.
According to a Xinhua report, the letters and visits to the State Letters and Complaints Bureau to make complaints about resettlement problems have been rising steadily over the past three years.
The number of visits concerning relocation last year soared 65 per cent over the figures for 2001, and the figure jumped 47 per cent by August this year on a year-on-year basis, the report quoted Zhu Ying, an official with the bureau as saying.
Being forced out of their homes to make way for demolition is one of the major factors mentioned in the complaints.
Demolition involving violence usually occurs when householders being relocated do not want to go or are not satisfied with compensation given by the government or real estate developers. Without getting approval from house management authorities, many property developers often force residents out of their homes to demolish them.
The municipal government issued a guiding document on Monday for demolition projects, which stipulates that no company or individual can demolish residents' houses without reaching an agreement with the householders. Only people's courts and district government, following the ruling of the Municipal Bureau of Land Resources and Housing Management can implement mandatory demolitions.
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