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Probe launched in land seizure

(China Daily)

08:45, April 05, 2012

Wheat fields plowed under to build school

The seizure of farmland in which wheat fields were plowed under by a developer in Central China's Henan province has led to an investigation after the incident led to public outrage on the Internet.

Zhao Siyin, head of the land appropriation department of the land and resources bureau in Shangcai county, told China Daily on Tuesday that a wheat crop was bulldozed on 56 mu (3.75 hectares) of farmland in a suburban section of Jingzhuang village on March 20 without the bureau's approval.

A team dispatched by the central government arrived in the county on Monday afternoon, and the local government is cooperating with the team to look into the case, Zhao said.

The wheat output in Henan reached 313 million kg in 2011, accounting for 25 percent of the country's total yield, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Jing Hanjun, Party secretary of Jingzhuang village, said the county government planned to build a school on the farmland to ease a shortage of middle school classrooms, and a real estate developer was awarded the contract for the project.

Jing said in order to finish the project as soon as possible and have the school ready for the autumn semester, he allowed the developer to bulldoze the farmland without receiving approval from the county government or the villagers' approval.

"I apologized to the villagers on March 24 and promised to compensate their losses from the destroyed wheat at the price of 1,000 yuan ($158) per mu," Jing told China Daily on Tuesday.

The school is planned to be built on 300 mu Jingzhuang farmland. Villagers whose farmland is seized will be compensated 33,500 yuan per mu if they sign contracts with the government, Jing said.


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