Sat, Oct 31, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Farglory accused of ongoing Dome work despite order to halt

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

A number of Taipei city councilors yesterday accused the Farglory Group (遠雄集團), which is the contractor charged with building the Taipei Dome, of defying the Taipei City Government’s order to halt construction over safety concerns, prompting Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to call Farglory an “unscrupulous company” and order an on-site inspection of any possible violations.

At a city council question-and-answer session, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Wang Wei-chung (王威中) presented video footage he took of the construction site, which showed several workers apparently welding on the building’s roof and on beams of a nearby hotel, which Farglory has proposed should be connected to the Taipei Dome complex.

The number of metal sheets on the Taipei Dome’s exterior has also been increasing, Wang said, adding that he had received many reports from residents of Farglory continuing construction in a stealthy manner.

Wang asked Ko and Taipei Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) why construction had been resumed, despite a city government ordinance in May ordering the suspension of work at the site.

The company had only been allowed to complete work on the arena’s lightning protection system and its foundation, which had raised safety concerns over perceived damage it had caused to the Taipei MRT’s Bannan Line, Lin said, adding that the work under way in the footage resembled neither.

“This is what you call an ‘unscrupulous company.’ We will administer the strictest punishments allowable by law,” Ko said.

The mayor ordered the department to launch an inspection of the construction site yesterday afternoon.

When asked by Wang if Ko head campaign adviser Chang Ching-sen (張景森) had substituted deputy mayors Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) and Charles Lin (林欽榮) in the city government’s negotiations with Farglory, Ko said that Chang had, but added: “At the end of the day, all negotiations went back to Teng and [Charles] Lin.

In response to questions whether others might have improperly carried out negotiations on behalf of the city, Ko said there have been “scam gangs” claiming to be city representatives that have profited from negotiations with the developer.

“There are all kinds of scam gangs. They are everywhere these days,” Ko said. “Some people have told me that the city government negotiated with them [Farglory] and took their money. This must mean that they have been scammed.”

“Farglory has been scammed. This is what I heard,” Ko said.

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