Ancient tree verses US$3.5 million building project

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An ancient red maple next to Jun An Temple (均安宮) in Houlong Village, West District, Taizhong has been put into an unprecedented crisis after it was revealed that a proposed building project, earmarked for the start of July, intends to extract large quantities of groundwater. A number of Taizhong NGOs have come together under the banner ‘Save the ancient maple alliance,’ and in order to instill locals with the resolution to fight for their environment, on June 9 raised an activity where residents wrote a prayer on a piece of ribbon and tied it to a cord encircling the tree. 

Residents have asked local government to establish a protection zone, safeguarding such ancient trees and the associated culture that surrounds them for posterity. The tree protection alliance said that with 24 floors above ground and 6 below, the ‘New Midtown (新文華)’ building project by Highwealth Construction (興富發建設公司) intends to bore 6 wells to a depth of approximately 32 meters, and continually extract water until the building work has finished.

If, however, during the course of construction, the groundwater dries up, the survival of the ancient maple will be seriously threatened. Another problem the ancient maple seems set to face is a lack of sunlight and air circulation, both of which may threaten the tree’s survival. In order to protect the tree, a public hearing has been demanded with the hope of moving the building project and establishing a protection zone that will safeguard the underground aquifers essential to the tree’s life. A further activity is planned to raise the importance of this issue with the local government and construction firm.

PeoPo 公民新聞 by 傑利

Ancient tree verses US$3.5 million building project

URL:http://www.peopo.org/news/112741

(以下為中文對照)

千年神木與三十億建案

台中市西區後龍里中港路一段均安宮旁,有一棵千年茄苳老神木,即將在7月份(2013)老樹旁蓋大樓抽光地下水之後,面臨空前的生存危機。大台中十數個團體組成「千年茄苳守護聯盟」,6月9日舉辦「搶救千年茄苳祈福遶境」活動,宣示當地居民護樹的決心。民眾要求市府設立千年神木文化特區,保護老樹永續生長。

守護聯盟表示,茄苳樹公旁興富發建設公司的「新文華」建案,未來地上28層地下6層的大樓興建時,會有6處大口徑深水抽水機,深入地達32公尺不斷抽取地下水源,直到大樓完工為止,一旦地下水源枯絕,老樹的生存必定受到嚴重威脅。而且老樹也可能因為日照不足、並且受到熱對流效應而枯死,為了護樹,要求市府立即召開公聽會,以地易地容積移轉獎勵方式並且建立千年神木文化特區,確保茄苳神木活命的地下水層。未來也將舉辦第二波活動,以引起市府與建商對此案的重視。

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