Sanya (Hainan province) is a popular tourist destination at the southernmost tip of China, famous for its tropical climate and beautiful beaches. Recently the city government is dedicated to beautifying the city by pulling down the biggest slums in the city. The government even has a name for this clearance action: “Hammer Action”.
Pig raiser in her own hut where she keeps the pigs
The slum clearance took place in the morning of 19th, Jan. In face of the wide attention on this issue, Sanya general administrative law enforcement bureau released a report to explain the 3 main reasons of the action: 1, the slum is a fire hazard.2, it cause environment pollution. 3, it’s difficult for management. The government says these poor people may deserve sympathy, but it has no measure or intention to resettle the people, “because the huts there are illegal buildings”
These explanations may have a point, but the action is still called in question by china netizens and media. Questions include: Is the sanya government’s action legal? Why the government let the slum exist for such a long time before suddenly take such a strong action? Is it because the overheated real estate boom is too tempting that the Sanya government can’t resist and let the 30,000m²be a slum? Also, is the city’s image more important than all the people in the slum?
The shanty town
The formation of this shanty town goes back to last century. For a better living, some poor farmers from Danzhou city (northwest of Hainan province) moved here to keep pigs in the simple and crude huts they built. To date, the shanty towns, which cluster in Mango village and Watermelon village in Sanya, have developed into a 30,000 m²area, with a permanent population of 2,000 people. Together with the money they made by picking up trash, a family can earn much more money than they could by growing crops at home where most of their farmland is saline and alkaline land-land that is too salty to cultivate anything.
While everyone blames the Sanya government of being callous or money-oriented, maybe we should also turn around and ask the Danzhou government to do something for his own people. The farmland maybe too salty, but sure there’s something can be done to improve the utilization of the land. Scientist never stop working on the problem of the salty land, a case in point can be found here.
The future of these farmers is unsure, but one thing is sure, if all these pig raisers are all forced to leave, price of pork will certainly rise in Sanya.
Source: Tencent news