Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Government to honor Hsuehshan Tunnel workers

DEDICATION Acknowledging the sacrifices made by the tunnel's workers, the Cabinet plans to hold a ceremony in memory of those who died during its long construction

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) yesterday said that the Cabinet would not organize any celebration for the completion of the construction of the Hsueh-shan Tunnel (雪山隧道), but would hold a ceremony in memory of the workers and technicians who died during the course of the tunnel's construction.

"The final date to mark the completion of the tunnel's construction will be made public by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications," Cheng said.

"However, I can assure you that there will only be a ceremony to commemorate those who had dedicated their lives to this tunnel's construction," said Cheng, who also doubles as Government Information Office minister.

The spokesman made the remarks during a press conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday morning.

Cheng said that construction of the tunnel, which is the fifth-longest in the world took 15 years.

At the moment, it was more important to remember the contribution and dedication of those technicians and workers who died during the building of the tunnel, he said.

"Former premiers Yu Shyi-kun and Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) have made the most effort to make sure that construction was on the right track," Cheng said.

He added that many foreign architects and technicians had tried to dissuade their Taiwanese counterparts from continuing with the project given the difficulties involved.

"The tunnel is more than 500 meters deep and goes through a huge massif," he said.

In addition, architects and technicians had to work under the threat of continuous water leakage, which could flood the tunnel immediately and drown everybody who was working there, Cheng said.

"The completion of the tunnel has been entered into the record books," Cheng said.

"We finished the construction on our own and we should be proud of it," he said.

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