“On the north end of Bahe East Road, there is a cluster of villas standing in the middle of weeds and trees, looking just like those little castles from fairy tales. Surprisingly they are all empty.” Netizen “摸摸无鱼" wrote on Huashang Forum and posted some photos, “I heard that they have been abandoned for years. What a pity, not only that they are occupying this large area of land for no purpose, also that they are fine houses left unused. Isn’t it a waste of resource? Who build them? Is anybody responsible for this? Why they are left unmanaged?”
(From sohu)Reporter then tracked down this villa cluster according to the description of the post, and spotted it near the intersection of Ba River(灞河), Wei River(渭河) and Jing River(泾河). Amongst overgrowing weeds scatters over 10 western style villa buildings with 2 floors. The half-finished buildings are basically just frameworks, whose walls are damaged here and there along the years. Walking inside the area, you would find that the weeds in some part are already over the knees.
In the middle of the cluster, there is a domical architecture relatively higher than the rest of the villas. Reporter encountered a couple who live there. The man Mr Li said he was hired by another man who lives nearby to oversee these buildings and do some gardening. “I have been living here for 7 years, my boss is only a project manager, I have never seen the real boss.”
Mr Li said that originally the area was meant to be a resort village, and the domical building he lives in was designed to be a conference center, with cafe and swimming pool on the east side.
Residents from nearby communities told reporter that nobody would walk in even though there was no fence. “The other day I passed by that place and walked into it out of curiosity. It was a cloudy day and getting dark, I was walking in the yard, suddenly a hare jumped out and disappeared, then a while later a flock of birds flew from of the weeds, it gave me the creeps. And I looked around, those houses were all undecorated, and their doors and windows are like huge open mouths and empty eyes. I was really scared and hurriedly left.”
Later reporter found out that the land belongs to a nearby village Lan Jia Village. It was farming land before. Villagers said: “we barely go in there, it is scary just like the scenes from horror movies. Only kids go there to play sometime.” They called the villa cluster “ghost town”.
According to the head of the Lan Jia Village, developers started the construction in 1997, but ceased somewhere along the construction due to some approval issues. Later, the remodeling program of Wei River kicked off, and the land is part of the planned area. Now that the resort project is in conflict with the river project, the approval process becomes a dead knot.
Yan Gaochao, an official from Ba Qiao District, Shanxi Province explained: “The land belonged to Lan Jia Village at that time, developers had to apply from homeland department approval to nationalize it before using it for other purpose, which led to a series of process. At that time, developer took a short cut, signed the draft with the government first and started the construction right away, never to expect the process to be stuck and even contradicted with another government project. That’s why the villa cluster is left unfinished.”
Yan assured reporter that demolition is inevitable, but he didn’t know how it will start. “There is no guidelines, no laws or regulations to follow through, or to decide whether or not to compensate the developers.”
“We have apply to the upper level, and are thinking about establishing a special team consist of officials from homeland department, water resource ministry etc to solve this problem.”
Reporter tried to trace down the developers with contact information provided by the village committee and government department. But both the address and contact number of the developers belong to irrelevant companies now.