Sat, Jun 23, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taipei City to boost flood compensation to Wenshan homes

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

In the wake of an operational oversight at Taipei’s Wanfang pumping station that caused flooding in Wenshan District (文山), the Taipei City Government said yesterday it would provide extra compensation to 43 households that suffered property damage in the flooding.

The 43 households on Wanfang Road are eligible for double the normal compensation due to the depth of flooding they experienced, Department of Public Works Commissioner Chang Pei-yi (張培義) said, promising to complete the compensation procedures by the end of next month.

The households can also apply for state compensation, but would need to offer photographs or other forms of evidence to prove property damage, he said.

“The city government is deeply sorry about the operational error at the pumping station, and will give additional compensation to the 43 households. We would also offer assistance if they chose state compensation, but the review process for state compensation would take much longer,” he said at Taipei City Hall.

The extra compensation will range from NT$12,000 and NT$40,000 according to the flood depth, with no additional evidence of damage needed, the department said.

The operational error at the pumping station damaged the road surface and caused serious flooding on Wanfang Road on Tuesday last week amid heavy torrential rain. The city later fired a technician, surnamed Chang (張), who was responsible for the mistake and removed Hydraulic Engineering Office director Eric Huang (黃治峰) from his post for poor supervision. Former public works commissioner Shannon Lee (李咸亨) stepped down on Friday last week to take further responsibility for the incident.

Wanfang borough chief Chen Tzu-shiu (陳姿秀) said most residents would choose to accept the city’s doubled compensation because of the long application process required to gain state compensation.

However, resident Chen Bao-lien (陳寶蓮) said she will file for state compensation because of the extensive damage she suffered.

“We just bought our car a year ago and it was flooded due to the rain. The city’s compensation is not enough to cover our damages,” she said.

Department of Civil Affairs Commissioner Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹) said the city has given NT$4.7 million (US$157,000) in relief money to 685 households, including the 43 households on Wanfang Road due to torrential rains on Tuesday last week and on Sunday.

The extra compensation for the 43 households will be given out by next month, she said.

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