Residents who refuse to leave are driven out after riot officers storm buildings Government officers have demolished nine illegal buildings near the Shenzhen Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to Hong Kong, after riot police stormed the buildings to evict the residents. Hundreds of police and urban redevelopment officers went to Dawangcun in Lowu district early yesterday after the official ultimatum expired for the owners to voluntarily give up their properties. The police surrounded the village and sealed off all the roads. Riot police armed with shields and batons stormed the buildings and drove out occupants who refused to leave. Tension flared briefly as a Hong Kong woman stacked her balcony with gas tanks and threatened to blow up the building if the officers did not withdraw. But riot police broke into her flat and took her away after a brief struggle. The woman, Kong Fa-wan, 43, was sent to a hospital for treatment and later discharged. Government bulldozers drove in after all the occupants were removed. The buildings were pulled down one by one under the watch of Lowu district party secretary Liu Xueqian. The Shenzhen government last week issued the ultimatum to nine property owners, including seven from Hong Kong, who had built residential blocks inside the Shenzhen Reservoir protection zone. The authorities said the buildings were illegal as the Shenzhen Reservoir was a classified protection area, and closed to all commercial and residential buildings. But 25 illegal residential buildings were built inside the protection zone. The occupants habitually dumped their waste into the reservoir as they did not have access to a proper sewerage system, Mr Liu said. Sixteen owners had agreed to pull down their buildings, but the remaining nine defied the government's orders. Mr Liu yesterday said the police acted to safeguard the quality of drinking water for the Shenzhen and Hong Kong public. 'Protecting the water resources from pollution is very important for public health in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. We will do everything to make sure the pollution is stopped. We won't give up just because a few people are not happy,' he said. The Hong Kong owners, however, claim the government compensation is too low and the demolition was illegal. 'We have invested 1 million each. Now the government offers us just token compensation. Many of us rely on the property to support our families. We feel cheated,' one owner said. The owners also claim they had been violently handled by mainland police. 'Seven or eight police came to drag me out. I struggled and tried to get my husband's plaque. It's the only thing I managed to take out from my house,' Ms Kong said.