District fiddles relocation cash

Anhui Province auditors are investigating a district government for boosting residency figures to obtain larger relocation compensation, the Beijing News reported.

The whistleblowers are Zhuzhuang villagers including Wang Huaiguang who all live on the outskirts of the prefecture-level city of Huainan, in one of many Panji district villages that are sinking because of the coal mine underneath them.

During the demolition of Zhuzhuang, which began last year, Wang noticed the actual number of relocating villagers was smaller than the number reported by the district to the provincial government and mining company.

Funding for the new village comes from two sources: 1,200 yuan ($187) each villager from the government and 22,000 yuan each from the mining company.

“In the public bulletin, it said that 586 Zhuzhuang villagers needed to be relocated, while on the schedule sheet provided by the district government, that number was 1,200,” Wang told the Global Times Thursday.

Anhui Province finance bureau counted about 3,600 villagers as receiving relocation compensation, whereas the actual number needing to relocate was 2,200, the Beijing News reported.

He knew the number of villagers on their contract with the district government was bigger than the real number, Chen Dehao, director of the resource and environment department of the Huainan Mining Industry Group, told the Beijing News.

The extra money they got would all go toward building the new village, Li Qing, a staff member of the sink management office of Panji district, told the Global Times Thursday.

The funds from the mining company could not pay for a necessary road and drainage equipment, Tang Kai, director of the sink management office, told the Beijing News.

Wang Bin, who moved into the new village more than a year ago, worries about the water in his district.
Since construction of the new village is unfinished, water could not be drained after it rained.

“I have to go barefoot if I want to go out,” he was quoted as saying by the Beijing News.

The mining company is negotiating with the government to raise relocation compensation and solve the funding problem, Li Qing told the Global Times Thursday, and the result would come out later this month.

It’s illegal to use fraudulent information to raise relocation compensation from the government, a Beijing-based demolition regulation specialist told the Global Times.

“Money that is needed to make up the funding gap during new village construction can be applied for from the government through legal channels,” Wang Cailiang said.

“Officials involved in fraud will receive administrative penalties.”

Global Times

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