Wed, Sep 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei makes room for parachutes

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Street lamps and traffic lights within a 40m radius of the front of the Presidential Office building will be taken down in preparation for a sky-diving performance during Double Ten National Day celebrations, Minister of Defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽) said yesterday.

Lee made the remarks to reporters while heading to the floor of the legislature for a question-and-answer session yesterday.

The National Day Organizing Committee for the first time has included sky-diving by paratroopers in the program of celebrations held in front of the Presidential Office on Oct. 10 every year.

It was necessary to remove some street lamps and traffic lights in the area to prevent paratroopers with parachutes from getting entangled in them, Lee said.

"We want to reduce the chances of any mishaps during the performance and make everything perfect," Lee said.

Ketagalan Boulevard, which runs toward the Presidential Office, will be cordoned off on Sept. 28 while the national day decorations are erected, and again on Oct. 12 when they are taken down.

Taipei City Government director of information Yang Hsiao-tung (羊曉東) yesterday said that the city government had granted the ministry's application to temporarily remove four sets of traffic lights and 16 sets of street lamps between Oct. 7 and Oct. 10.

"We approved the application on the condition that it not affect traffic safety, but the applicant must cover NT$300,000 in costs," he said.

Yang said the city government would set up 400-watt lights while the lamps are down to illuminate the area at night, adding that police would patrol the area to control traffic.

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