A few weeks ago many houses in a quickly developing area were torn down by the city because a Korean store owner wants to come in and put a shopping mall right where they and many others houses were. This is not an uncommon occurrence here in Chongqing, but what is interesting about this is that the Korean store owner nor the city did not give them anything for their homes, rather one day a city official showed up in their neighborhood, shut off the water, gas, and power to the area and said they had 3 hours to get out of their houses. 3 hours later some construction men showed up and torched most of the houses, some with people still inside refusing to leave their homes. Reports say that several people were hurt and one person was taken to a hospital with serious injuries when the house he refused to leave collapsed on top of him.
Many houses here were the homes of families that had been living in them for more then 70 years. Even though the houses value would be low, its unfortunate that the neither the city or the Korean boss who bought the land from the city did not offer anything to the people who had been living there for so long. Now the many families that lived in that area are living in the couple of houses there were not torn down, 3-4 families to a house that is about 40-50 square meters.
So say the people who lived there.
The story was put in the newspapers but rather then a lot of talk about people who had their houses taken away, it was more about the new shopping mall that was going in and the stores that would open up locations there. Also that the houses that were there were from before the revolution and that there were no legal contracts to confirm their ownership of these houses and thus the land legally belonged to the city.
Needless to say I was there to take photos of the aftermath, the people, what is left of the houses, and what has happened to the people who once lived there. I took the time over 3 days to talk with them, see their houses, hear what they had to say and take photos of their area. I am not sure what story to believe but I can tell you that the people who lived in this area are now crowded into a few small rooms and that they live in poverty and filth on whats left of the few houses there. There is probably a little truth in each sides story but im sure each side is trying as hard as they can to make themselves look like the victims. All I can say is I bet the city officials dont live in these conditions...