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Hebei demolishes illegal buildings on mountain

By ZHANG YU | | Updated: 2019-02-19 19:13 申博娱乐注册

The government of Shijiazhuang in North China's Hebei province is tearing down illegal buildings on a mountain slope after media reports disclosed problems of the unapproved villas project on Monday.

The project, covering an area of about 1.2 million square meters and including more than 700 villas and supporting facilities, was built and sold without permission, according to a report by China Real Estate Business.

Through Tuesday afternoon, 10 out of 24 illegal buildings covering 12,667 square meters have been demolished since Shijiazhuang government sent a team to investigate the problems, Hebei Daily reported.

The team will rectify problems while the investigation is still underway.

The project is located on the slopes of Fenglong Mountain in the Luquan district in the western area of Shijiazhuang city, capital of Hebei.

Making use of the mountain's natural resources as a selling point to attract buyers, the project's developer built the villas at the cost of "destroying" the mountain and its forest, the report by China Real Estate Business said.

The developer - Shijiazhuang Lihao Real Estate Development Co Ltd - didn't get permission to build or a permit to sell, according to the report, which quoted an employee with the local Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in Luquan.

In 2017, the developer was fined about 624 million yuan ($92 million) for illegally constructing 109 residential buildings for the project without permission. Yet, the fine has not been paid.

A worker with the developer told China Real Estate Business that "the government has given us a green light".

After the issue was reported on Monday, Hebei's Party chief, Wang Dongfeng, demanded an immediate and thorough investigation into the unapproved construction and punishment for the people involved in violating laws and regulations.

Shijiazhuang government sent out an investigative team to Luquan district on Monday night with its Party chief and mayor leading the group.

Video reports by the news website Btime showed that the villas area has been sealed off by local authorities.

"Some corrupt officials might have taken bribes to help the developer obtain the land and turned a blind eye to illegal construction and selling," said Xing Shitian, a project manager at a construction company in Shijiazhuang, who is not involved in this situation.

Measures have been taken in some parts of the country to stop illegal construction of buildings and prevent destruction of the environment.

Last year, more than 1,000 illegal villas were demolished or confiscated at the foot of the Qinling Mountains in Northwest China's Shaanxi province and many officials involved were held accountable for either corruption or not responding to the situation.

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