[EDITORIALS]City plan borders on vagueThe governing and opposition parties have agreed on a plan to construct an “administration-centered and multi-functional multi-purpose city” in Yeongi-Gongju in South Chungcheong province. It is the result of a compromise of combining the governing party’s “administration-centered city” and the opposition’s “multi-functional city.” Having a closer look, one will realize that what is agreed are only adding a word “multi-purpose” and not specifying when construction starts.
They have left the key issue of which government offices and functions will be moved there in ambiguity. According to the governing party, the purchase of land and construction work will be possible within this year. This means that the party and the government plan to buy land first without deciding what government offices will move. Something is wrong. If things go this way, a problematic city will be born out of a political compromise between the governing and opposition parties.
Whether out of spontaneity or an artificial plan, cities come into being organically. A commercial city is born at a transportation center and a military city comes into existence where there is strategic importance. Also, for political reasons, a nation’s capital is relocated to another place. Seoul was surveyed, planned and constructed as the capital of the nation by King Taejo the founder of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) to make those with vested interests under the Goryeo Dynasty powerless and unfold a new political era.
The Yeongi-Gongju area is a location selected by President Roh Moo-hyun’s government as a place that they thought was suitable to move functions of the capital to. But the Constitutional Court ruled the relocation bill unconstitutional. Therefore, it is natural that the government give up the idea of moving the capital. The governing party claims that moving 18 ministries constitutes moving the capital but moving 16 agencies just means an administration-centered city. The opposition ponders over the number of ministries to be moved considering the votes of the Chungcheong provinces are equally in poor shape.
Compensation for residents of Yeongi-Gongju for their personal losses should be handled from a different level. A city will prosper only when suitable conditions are created. Politicians should start frank talks on a plan desirable for residents and get rid of party interests.