New Daya Bay plant to displace 200 villagers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 1994, 12:00am

MORE than 200 villagers are expected to be removed from Lingao, where the new nuclear plant in Shenzhen will be located.

But some who are migrant workers from Shantou said yesterday they had not been told about the new plan and did not want to leave their homes.

A narrow concrete path runs for about five kilometres along the hillside connecting the Daya Bay Plant and Lingao Cun, an enclave of four small villages surrounded by farmland and orchards. Abalone and sea urchins are harvested along the shore.

Lingao is double the size of Da Keng Cun, which made way for the Daya Bay plant.

Feasibility studies in both areas in the early 1980s named Daya Bay as the preferred location.

One of the farmers Ms Lee said: ''I heard from Hong Kong TV about the possibility of a new plant here when [premier] Li Peng opened the Daya Bay plant.

''But we have not been told officially. Of course I don't want to leave here, the village is a good place to live.'' While some villagers echoed Ms Lee's views, some other migrant farmers hired by the village said they would simply be moving on ''if there is a reasonable compensation''.

Stories of how rich the former Da Keng villagers had become after obtaining evacuation compensation from the Government had spread to Lingao.

However, the majority of the 500 indigenous people of Lingao, belonging to three clans, left when they heard about the construction of the Daya Bay nuclear power station about eight years ago.

One of the indigenous villagers returning to see her farmland said yesterday: ''We feared there would be an accident and are afraid the Daya Bay plant will bring about water pollution. We used to catch fish and other seafood at the shore.

''If it were not for the Daya Bay plant, we would not want to move, our life is almost self-contained, we used to grow our own rice, vegetables, raise pigs and catch fish here.'' Another former villager said: ''Inconvenient transport and the lack of any school are good reasons for moving away.

''When some started to leave, others followed and by 1992 more than 90 per cent of us had gone.'' They said the Government had helped them to build new homes in the town of Da Peng Zhen by offering cheaper land.

The villagers said they were not clear about the evacuation plan in case an accident took place at Daya Bay.

''About a year ago all the households in the town were given a booklet about what a nuclear plant is and its safety problems.

''It said some pills could be taken in case there was an accident,'' a villager said, failing to recall any details except that they should wait for Public Security Bureau officials to call on them.