Lone home in the middle of Chinese road torn down

Featured - December 3rd, 2012
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A house that stood incongruously in the middle of a new thoroughfare in China’s eastern Zhejiang province was torn down Saturday after the owner finally accepted a compensation package.

Luo Baogen, a duck farmer, and his wife had refused to leave, forcing the road to build around their five-storey home. The building earned the name “nail house” after pictures showing a seemingly misplaced house in the middle of the road circulated on the Internet. The home became the latest symbol of Chinese resistance against development at the cost of residential areas.

The couple had just finished their home at a cost of 600,000 yuan ($95,000) and had been offered only 220,000 ($35,000) to move. Bulldozers moved in after he finally accepted the latest offer at 260,000 yuan ($41,000), officials said.

It was not immediately clear why Luo accepted the compensation in a meeting with officials on Friday. Authorities commonly pressure residents to relocate by cutting off utilities or demolishing homes when residents are out for the day. Luo told reporters that he still had access to electricity and water last week.

Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai said Luo was tired of all the media attention and voluntarily consented to the deal. “Luo Baogen received dozens of people from the media every day and his house stands in the center of the road. So he decided to demolish the house,” Chen told AP.