It’s been over a month since the infamous Minhang building collapse and construction crews are finally coming in to clean up the site. Yesterday around noon, six bulldozers drove into the Lotus Riverside apartment complex to begin the removal work, according to Shanghai Daily.
Shanghai Construction Group, a major player in the city’s infrastructure development, was given the task of clearing the debris. Meanwhile, Shenzhen-based real-estate bigwig Vanke has taken over duties for further construction, sales, and refunds related to the 13-story tower’s fall. The original developers, Shanghai Meidu Real Estate, was shut down during the city government’s investigation into the matter.
Even as deconstruction begun, Lotus Riverside homeowners were still protesting what they deemed an unfair payout. According to China Daily:
When the demolition started at noon, Wang Laiyun and some 20 other homeowners climbed on top of another uncompleted building in the Lotus Riverside complex, shouting ‘Give me back my home’.
“Some government officials asked us to leave but we refused,” he said.
“We have not been compensated yet. It is still our building. How could they dismantle it without our permission?” Wang said. “We will stay here until they promise they will build us a new building at the same spot.”
Under a government-mediated settlement, homeowners from the collapsed building can choose to be refunded for either the difference between their payment price and the price of the building when it collapsed on June 27 (it sounds weird and complicated, we know), or they can pick another apartment in the remaining 10 buildings.
But homeowners complained that Vanke hadn’t outlined the specifics of the compensation, or which apartments in the 10 uncollapsed buildings were available for a switch. Other Lotus Riverside residents argued that they needed Vanke to prove that their buildings were 100% safe.
Seems like even after the building’s remnants are long gone, this issue won’t be put to rest. Especially considering how it seems some other buildings around the city aren’t safe either.
Photo from Shanghai Daily