Taiwan: New High-Speed Rail Stations to be Completed

The government is committed to finishing construction of Taiwan High Speed Rail stations in Miaoli County, Changhua County and Yunlin County, Premier Wu Den-yih said during a Cabinet meeting Thursday.

The premier was responding to objections to the stations from a minority of Taiwan High Speed Rail Company shareholders.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) is still negotiating with those shareholders who are unwilling to support the construction plan, Wu added.

Wu noted that two years ago, when the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. was facing financial difficulties, the government helped resolve the crisis by assisting the company in securing a NT$380 billion (US$1.26 billion) syndicated loan, Government Information Office (GIO) Deputy Minister George Hsu said after the meeting.

Construction of the three stations has fallen behind schedule because of the financial difficulties. Originally, company officials had planned to finish construction of the three stations by 2010.

Wu also said that the government has proposed a solution for land subsidence issue in Yunlin and Changhua counties that is threatening the safety of the railway.

The plan calls for the capping of nearly 1,000 deep wells mostly owned by the government and water companies in a period of 10 years, and the building of a new dam in Yunlin County to meet water demands.

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