Chang's Pharmacy in Dapu, Miaoli County was demolished in a land expropriation dispute four years ago, triggering a national controversy. Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong announced on May 16 that a settlement has been reached with landowners to rebuild the pharmacy, which could be completed as soon as next June. The owner's widow, Peng Hsiu-chun, lamented that it has been too long a wait and said she would take nothing for granted until the construction is finished. The government of Miaoli County has agreed to provide part of the funding.
Chang's Pharmacy in Dapu, Miaoli County was demolished on July 18, 2013, with 600 police officers standing guard. After four years, the original site is a U-turn lane for cars. After nine months of negotiation led by the Ministry of the Interior, the Chang family has reached a settlement with the government and the pharmacy will be rebuilt on the site. Chang's widow Peng Hsiu-chun said that she can only hope that the construction goes smoothly.
==PENG HSIU-CHUN Widow of Chang's Pharmacy Owner==
(My husband) is watching over me so that his house may be built away. It's the last few steps of the journey, but we still must be very careful with every step, so that it can be finished.
In addition to the rebuilding of Chang's Pharmacy, other landowners involved in the controversy have come to agreements with the Ministry of the Interior to exchange or sell their land. The draft settlement has been signed, but Peng still said that every step must be a careful one. The government of Miaoli County said that there are still many procedures that must be completed for the road to become zoned for residential use again, but that it will work with the central government to complete them.
==CHEN PIN-SHAN Sec.-Gen., Government of Miaoli County==
Only after the urban planning committee reviews and approves the rezoning of the land for residential use, can the residence be rebuilt. We will cooperate as long as the law is being followed.
Liu Cheng-hung, who was Miaoli County's magistrate at the time, still insists that all laws were followed.
==LIU CHENG-HUNG Former Miaoli County Magistrate==
This was a project that was reviewed and approved by the Ministry of the Interior. The government of Miaoli County was only tasked with implementing it. If all urban planning projects can be walked back like this, how can the country make progress?
The Ministry of the Interior had proposed raising private funds to settle the suit, but the landowners refused. The rebuilding for the pharmacy is estimated to cost NT$2 million. Miaoli County has said it is willing to provide part of the funding, despite budget issues of its own. The rebuilding could be complete as early as next June.
Translated by JOHN CHEN
邱植培 彭煥群 苗栗報導