Thu, Aug 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmaker wants heads to roll

INDIGNANT Tu Wen-ching complained of negligence in fixing the nation's flooding problems, saying he has no idea what the responsible officials have been doing

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday joined opposition parties in demanding the resignations of Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) and Water Resources Agency Director-General Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) for what he called negligence in fixing the nation's flooding problems.

DPP Legislator Tu Wen-ching (杜文卿) echoed a remark made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Tuesday.

Chen said that some officials would have to step down to shoulder responsibility for the unsolved water-supply problems plaguing Taoyuan County.

Tu made the remark yesterday morning before listening to briefings by Ho and Chen Shen-hsien, who were invited by the DPP caucus to speak about the government's proposed eight-year, NT$80 billion flood-control project.

The DPP hopes to call a special legislative session to pass the flood-control bill, as well as five other bills the party deems to be urgent.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will hold an informal meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposal.

Tu said that Ho and Chen Shen-hsien have showed little concern for the flooding problem in his constituency of Miaoli County.

"One segment of the embankment along Ta-an River collapsed last year, and it has not yet been fixed. I have no idea what you have been doing," Tu said.

While residents of Taoyuan Countyintermittently do not have water, Tu said that many people in his constituency do not have any tap water whatsoever.

Before Ho and Chen Shen-hsien could respond or start their briefings, Tu stormed out of the room.

Taoyuan prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether corruption was involved in the construction of the pumping station and the cleaning of the reservoir.

The NT$100 million (US$3.14 million) pumping station was built last September to ensure normal water supplies during post-typhoon periods. Construction was completed in May.

Prosecutors have said that pumping machines breaking down led directly to the current water-supply problems in southern Taoyuan County.

Opposition legislative caucuses yesterday reiterated their calls for Ho's resignation.

Saying that "a wrongheaded government policy is worse than corruption," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that Ho must step down to shoulder the responsibility for the county's water problems.

Sun Ta-chien (孫大千), a People First Party (PFP) caucus whip, expressed the same opinion, saying that Ho should have stepped down last year when water supplies to households in most of Taoyuan were cut off for 19 days.

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