Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Civil groups submitted a petition on Thursday to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to relocate the Xinzhuang Line railway workshop in order to prevent landslides in the area.
The railway depot is currently located next to Losheng Sanatorium in New Taipei City's Xinzhuang District on a very fragile geological site, the Youth Losheng Alliance and Losheng Self-Saving Alliance said in the petition.
Because there are land faults in the areas, the site is unsuitable for large-scale excavation, the groups said.
Many leprosy patients are housed at the sanatorium near Huei Long Hospital, which provides medical services for leprosy patients and people with other ailments.
Since the Taipei City Government's Department of Rapid Transit System began construction of the new metro line, there have been signs of landslides in the area, the groups said.
In Sept. 2011, the department attempted to shore up the land by building bulwarks but to no avail and hillside constructions were abandoned in November, the two groups said.
They recommended that the government extend the Xinzhuang Line to Taoyuan County and relocate the railway depot to a more suitable site.
This will have the double effect of allowing the excavated site near Losheng Sanatorium to be refilled and meeting Taoyuan County residents' demand for a metro system, the groups said.
In response, the MOTC said the transit department has asked the Taiwan Professional Civil Engineers Association to check the safety of the hills around the Xinzhuang Line rail workshop and advise on long term solutions.
As for the suggestion to extend the MRT line to Taoyuan County, it is a cross-municipality issue and evaluation of the Taoyuan Brown Line would be required, the ministry said.
The ministry said it will respect any decision made by local governments on the suggestions offered by the groups.
(By Wang Shwu-fen and C.J. Lin)