Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Muzha was never stable enough for gondola: DPP

DODGEDCity councilors accused former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou of skipping an environmental analysis on the system by licensing it as a transportation project

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP Taipei City councilors Hsu Chia-ching and Wu Su-yao hold up a death certificate in a mock funeral service for the Maokong Gondola yesterday.


The geology of the Muzha (木柵) area was never able to sustain the Maokong Gondola, and the cable car system should be permanently terminated for the sake of public safety and environmental protection, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors said yesterday.

DPP councilors Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) and Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said the Public Construction Commission of the Executive Yuan has completed an evaluation report that opposes re-opening the gondola as construction of the system has caused irreparable geological damage to the area.

“The erosion that occurred under the support pillar revealed the danger the gondola poses to the area. It’s time to pronounce the gondola dead and end the nightmare for local residents,” Hsu told a press conference yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

The commission, however, did not publish the results of the evaluation report in order to protect the cable car system, a major municipal project pushed through by former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the councilors said.

Gondola service was suspended on Oct. 1 after mudslides eroded the ground beneath one of the system’s support pillars. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and other city officials blamed the mudslides on heavy rains brought by a series of recent typhoons, and said the gondola’s operation was suspended to ease unnecessary anxiety about its safety.

Wu condemned Ma for dodging an environmental assessment of the project before it was constructed by licensing it as a “major transportation construction project.”

Wu also urged Hau to stop defending Ma’s poor municipal project.

“Saying goodbye to the Maokong gondola forever is a courageous move that will prevent further damage,” Wu said.

In response, the commission issued a press release late yesterday denying the existence of the evaluation report, but acknowledged that it had sent members to inspect erosion under the system’s support pillars on Oct. 2.

Hau said yesterday that the city government had invited a group of civil engineers to conduct an evaluation on the gondola’s stability.

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