The Taipei City Government is to dissolve a contract it signed with Radium Life Tech Co (日勝生) to jointly develop a housing project in the city’s Nangang District (南港) at an estimated cost of NT$327 million (US$10.11 million), Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.
The housing project, which is integrated with the Nangang Depot on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit System’s Bannan Line, has been criticized by some city councilors as a “carbon copy” of the MeHas City scandal.
The weekly Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported that Radium Life had delivered a document to the municipal government, requesting NT$1.5 billion in compensation for design fees, preliminary construction costs and interest payments.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei times
However, the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems estimates total compensation costs at about NT$327 million, the department’s Joint Development Division director Wei Kuo-hua (魏國華) said.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) asked Ko how the city plans to handle the potential compensation case.
Ko did not give a direct response, saying only that he would approach the matter with caution.
The mayor also came under fire over his stance on the Taipei Dome case, with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) accusing him of flip-flopping.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗) asked Ko to pick one of three options to clarify his stance on the Dome: dissolve the contract with contractor Farglory Group; demolish the Dome; or continue to suspend construction.
Ko said that he would “move toward dissolving the contract.”
When Lin asked when the contract would be terminated, Ko said: “Discussions are under way.”
“I have made up my mind,” he added.
However, after a short break Taipei City Government spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明), quoting Ko, said the city government could not unilaterally dissolve the contract.
“The Taipei City Government remains open to discussions if Farglory is willing to approach the Dome with a priority on resolving safety issues,” Lin told reporters.
Lee, who spoke after Lin, criticized what he called Ko’s “flip-flop.”
“Is what you want also what your team wants? You said that you would dissolve the contract, but Sidney Lin tells the media that the city is open to all kinds of possibilities. I cannot tell whether you or Sidney Lin is the mayor,” Lee said.
Quoting Farglory spokesman Jacky Yang (楊舜欽), who yesterday said that if the city government would compensate Farglory NT$37 billion, then the group would be willing to dissolve the contract, Lee asked the mayor if he was ready to pay such a large sum.
Ko said that the amount of the potential compensation is negotiable.
The mayor said that while the embattled Dome project remained unresolved for a protracted period, it also showed that the city government did not abandon its principles despite pressure from corporations.
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