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Metro construction halted in Zhengzhou as house owner refuses to move


12-18-2016 14:39 BJT

In China, people who refuse to move from their homes to make way for large-scale urban developments have earned themselves the nickname Dingzihu. It literally means nail house tenant. The latest Dingzihu to become famous is an old man in central China’s Henan Province. Xia Ruixue reports from the provincial capital Zhengzhou.

This is Zhengzhou Metro Line 2. It’s scheduled to open in a couple of days. But Xiaoqiao station will remain shut and the trains won't stop there.

“It’s sad news. We are so close to the subway, but we can’t use it," said a local resident.

It’s all because of a small store. 64-year-old Liu Xuede is the owner. He refuses to move and make way for the metro because he’s not satisfied with the compensation from the local authorities.

“According to the policy, I can get a new house if I move away. But others have received an extra sum of money, because of their rural residence permit. It’s not fair. I should get that money too," said Liu Xuede, Zhengzhou resident.

“In the past four years, we held meetings and kept talking with Liu, but we failed to reach a final agreement. If we give him what he wants, that will be unfair to his 96 neighbors who already moved away," said Lv Xuqing, Deputy Director of Longhu Town, Zhengzhou.

Liu has become a famous nail house resident now, or what we called Dingzihu. There is no electricity, water or heat in his store and his health is getting worse. But he says he will continue to fight for what he deserves. And that means the station cannot open.

“According to the design, one of the exits of Xiaoqiao station is supposed to be right where Liu’s store is. It was approved by the Zhengzhou Land Resources and Planning Bureau and cannot be changed. Now we have no choice but to abandon the station because the local fire department won’t allow the station to have only one exit," said Bai Junjie, Zhengzhou Metro.

Local residents are unhappy about the announcement, but they’re glad to see the authorities are still in talks with Liu, instead of demolishing his store overnight. There must be better ways to solve the problem.

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