Workers began clearing a Hong Kong housing site on August 8 in preparation for a project to build homes for 135,000 people.
GV PAN Shots of village Tinshuiwai, Hong Kong province (2 shots)
GV Housing authority workers with police at site
GV/SV Furniture and belongings of residents (2 shots)
GV Police watching local authority workers beginning housing demolition (3 shots)
GV PAN Fire engines and ambulances at site
GV/SV PULL BACK Government housing estate near village (2 shots)
GV/SV Villagers queueing to receive compensation (2 shots)
SV/GV Villagers showing cheques to newsmen (2 shots)
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Background: Workers began clearing a Hong Kong housing site on August 8 in preparation for a project to build homes for 135,000 people. The authorities had anticipated resistance from some of those being displaced by the work at Tinshuiwai village, and a force of some three hundred policemen were on hand to prevent trouble. Demolition work began with no disruption, however, and the former tenants and residents simply watched as police stood by. The new government-funded homes are expected to be completed from 1990 onwards. Initially, the land was to be developed by a private finance company, Mightycity, which at the height of the property boom three years ago was offering compensation of up to 130,000 US dollars to fish and chicken farmers. Owned 51 per cent by the Peking-backed China Resources, 25 per cent by Trafalgar Housing, 12.5 per cent by Cheung Kong Holding and five per cent by Wheelock Marden, Mightycity acquired the whole Tinshuiwai area in 1980 and planned to develop a new town on the 488 hectare site (about 200 acres), accommodating up to half a million people. But in 1982 the government withdrew approval for the plans, considering them too ambitious and saying that it would take until the end of the century to complete. Instead, the government bought the land from Mightycity and required the company to use part of the purchase price to build homes for 135,000 people. The deal was made after property and land prices had plummeted. The government agreed to pay the tenants compensation for their loss of business and to rehouse them. But some tenants were angry that official compensation sums were much lower than had been previously offered by the company, and they refused to move. The authorities had first issued clearance orders last November but many tenants still refused to move. Mr Nicky Chan, Secretary for Lands and Works, said that the clearance had to be carried out on time if the development project was not to be delayed. About 100 families had refused to move before the August 8 operation.