The year 2016 did not get off to a good start for a farmer and migrant worker named Wang in Western China, who suddenly found himself homeless in January.
Zhang’s house, which was located on the main street of Fushui town, was demolished on January 16, when no one was home, by the contracted construction company.
The demolition was part of the local government’s street construction project initiated in 2015, which involved demolishing more than 40 houses, including Zhang’s.
Zhang said he knew nothing about the demolition until he got a call from his sister the next day.
He rushed back to find his house “razed to the ground”.
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Zhang has petitioned the local government and talked to the construction company but neither has offered compensation.
In a written reply to Zhang’s petition, the local government said it did not order the demolition and the house was torn down because of miscommunication with the construction company, which should take full responsibility.
Yu Qing, a local official, told the newspaper that the street project involved the demolition of 42 houses in Zhang’s village, and 13 home owners had yet to reach an agreement with the government.
Zhang said no one talked to him before the demolition.
Local government said they apologised to Zhang and have tried to reach an agreement on compensation.
Zhang denied this, insisting that no local officials had spoken to him, let alone offered an apology.
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Zhang’s neighbour, Zhang Yong, said his toilet, septic tank and two large trees were also destroyed along with Zhang’s house.
But Zhang Yong, who was in the village when the demolition happened, stopped the contractors before they destroyed any other part of his home and received 2,600 yuan (HK$3,100) in compensation after negotiating with the company.
The construction company also told the newspaper that they admitted Zhang’s house was mistakenly destroyed and that they would be willing to pay compensation.