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Shantytown renovation steps up in Harbin

Updated : 2014-10-14

By ( chinadaily.com.cn )

A total of 6,370 households in Daowai district of Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, have been relocated as the local government has worked out a shantytown renovation project to keep them out of trouble from poor drainage facilities in their residential districts on Sept 21.

Without stormwater drainage system, the residential area has no resistance to heavy rains. Some houses are also cracking.

"I have long expected news about relocation. But I am really concerned whether the government has sufficient funds or resources for such a massive resettlement,” said 39-year-old resident Jiao Hongli.

To work out the renovation project, the city government has applied for 11.8 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) from China Development Bank and arranged 8,000 apartments ahead of time.

Residents can either move into residence communities with good facilities and modern architectural designs or receive compensation equal to their assets value.

"Although the shantytown renovation was targeted to the welfare of the residents, there are always unexpected challenges during the process,” said Liu Huijun, an officer in charge of the demobilization of the shantytown residents.

Some of the residents were anxious and even confrontational concerning the measurement of floor areas and evaluation of assets, both of which were used as criteria for relocation and compensation afterwards.

Transparency was therefore stressed by the government in the registration of measurement information, relocation and compensation details. Residents were also invited to witness the measurement of their houses during the project.

"The resettlement project in Daowai district, where people have been suffering serious drainage problems for a long time, is a top priority for shantytown renovation work of the city. We will do our best to satisfy every resident in the project,” said Song Xibin, mayor of Harbin, during his field visit to Daowai.

From July 21 to Sept 21, the resettlement project in Daowai district was successfully concluded. With an investment of 11.8 billion yuan ($1.9 billion), it is the largest shantytown renovation project in Harbin so far.