Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Premier, John Deng apologize over road issue in Kaohsiung

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) yesterday apologized for a road collapse in Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港), which has been blamed on state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) tunneling operations.

Zhonglin Road (中林路) collapsed on Friday after tunnel construction work in the area, causing damage to a factory belonging to CPC Corp, Taiwan.

Reports said pieces of the road were continuing to crumble.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Kuo-cheng (林國正) yesterday asked Deng to apologize in a legislative question-and-answer session, which Deng did right away before promising to visit the area after the session.

Lin asked that the ministry conduct a survey among Siaogang residents over temporary rehousing and to provide sufficient funding if a majority of respondents deem such a move necessary.

Mao also apologized for the accident after being asked to do so by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), who said that the government has taken too long to resolve the problem.

“This is a major mishap concerning Taipower’s industrial safety and a lapse caused by the bureaucratic system. I offer my apology,” Mao said.

“Taipower has been so busy squabbling with [DPP presidential candidate] Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) over issues related to the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant [in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City] and electricity prices that it issued its first press release [on the road’s collapse] 12 hours after the collapse happened,” Kuan said.

Kuan said that the area is a special industrial zone “dotted with oil tanks” and also houses a factory owned by China Steel Corp.

“[The collapse] could develop into a serious disaster if not carefully taken care of,” she added, calling on both Mao and Deng to visit the site.

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