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November 12, 2009

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Builders erecting more to raze

SOME residents of a local village slated to be razed for a Disneyland are quickly putting up structures in what many suspect is an attempt to net more money when the land is taken over.

Some villagers told China Central Television on Monday that they thought land with buildings on it could get about 10 times more compensation than bare land.

There's been no official word, though, on what the compensation terms will be.

In recent days, some of Zhaohang Village's land owners and contractors erected rows of pre-fab storehouse-like constructions on thousands of acres of bare land.

"They are really good at picking a time," said a worker, surnamed Shen, in a fertilizer shop located along the main road of the village in Pudong New Area.

The shop was flanked by several empty storehouses, all built within a week after city government got the November 4 green light from the state to build a Disney theme park.

On September 4, a notice went up saying that more than 4 million square meters of land in Zhaohang would be requisitioned but gave no details concerning the amount of compensation. Residents were to register their land before November 13.

The newly-erected constructions, still in their framework, have been halted since Tuesday by village officials, however.

"I haven't seen the owner since the work here was stopped," said a man, surnamed Chen, who guarded some construction materials in the storehouse.

The owner did not say what the house would be used for, said Chen.

Some owners told Shanghai Daily yesterday their aim was not "about the compensation."

"The house will be used for farming," said a land owner who asked not to be named.

"That causes a problem," said Kan Feng, a lawyer with Shanghai Xucan Law Firm. "It is relatively hard to define whether those new buildings would be used for agriculture or just up there to get more compensation." Zhaohang Village authorities called for further monitoring of the construction but didn't say whether they would remove the storehouses.

"We are still working out details on how to define the usage of the construction and curb those illegal ones," said village official Zhang Hua.


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