Monday, July 19, 2010

Residents may be moved for Asian Games ceremonies

GUANGZHOU - Residents in Guangzhou's busiest area, whose apartments face the Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River, will have to temporarily leave their homes during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Asian Games to be held in the city in November. 

"For security reasons, residents who can see the Haixinsha Island from their windows will be required to temporarily move away. All the windows facing the Haixinsha Island will be closed one or two days ahead of the opening and closing ceremonies," a police officer from the Tianhe district branch of the Guangzhou public security bureau, said on Wednesday.
But the officer, who will work with the 2010 Asian Games organizing committee's security department and wants to remain anonymous, refuted rumors that police officers would move into the apartments after the owners move out.  

"Relevant departments are now distributing questionnaires to residents in the housing estates in the city's Zhujiang (Pearl River) new town in Tianhe district to seek suggestions for the plan," he said.
"It hasn't been decided yet whether to compensate the residents or provide free accommodation," the officer said.
Residents may be moved for Asian Games ceremonies
A bird’s eye view of the Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River in Guangzhou, which will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Asian Games. [Xinhua]
"None of the residents have yet been informed how or when they will be required to move away," he said, adding that relevant departments are still studying and discussing the plan.
He refused to reveal how many people or families will be affected.
However, the plan to temporarily move residents has sparked controversy among locals.
"Why do I have to move away. This is my home," said a female resident whose apartment faces the Haixinsha Island.
"Even if I am compensated or provided with another place to live temporarily by the government, I will still feel inconvenienced, " she said.
But a male resident surnamed Wang said he would accept the temporary arrangement.
"It is worth moving away if I can contribute to a successful and wonderful opening and closing ceremony for the Asian Games ," Wang said.
Most of the residents who are affected by the plan are rich local business representatives who have purchased expensive luxury apartments that have a grand view of the Pearl River.
Most of the apartments along the Pearl River in the Zhujiang new town, a prime location in Guangzhou, still stand at more than 25,000 yuan ($3,700) a square meter, despite a slight drop in the city's property prices in recent months.
The opening ceremony of the 16-day Games will be held on Nov 12. 

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