Power Line Dispute

Angry residents force a company to postpone installation of high-voltage electricity cables near their houses.

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Residents clashed on Tuesday with workers installing power transmission cables in the southern Chinese city of Loudi after complaining that the electrification project posed a threat to their lives.

Several people were injured in the incident, according to residents concerned that a electricity pylon erected in the densely populated Huangni community last July was too close to their houses.

The Loudi Electricity Company had built the pylon to support high voltage transmission cables. At one section of the community, the pylon was as close as one meter (3.28 feet), residents said.

The company had earlier postponed cable installation and agreed to negotiate with residents over possible resettlement and compensation.

But on Tuesday, the company unilaterally decided to resume work, sending in 100 workers to install the cables.

The action sparked clashes between the workers and residents, some of whom were wounded. Police intervened, detaining at least one resident.

Installation put off again

Several residents protested the police action by climbing up the pylon tower.

“We have no way to stop them, so some of us climbed up the pylon," a resident said, adding that the company was again forced to put off installation work.

In a separate development, about 500 people protested on Monday against the forced demolition of their houses in Changsha, capital of Hunan province.

They gathered in front of the city hall with banners but were dispersed by police.

Reported by Fang Yuan from Hong Kong for RFA's Mandarin service. Translated and written in English by Ping Chen.


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