Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) yesterday said he could resolve problems with the Taipei Dome project in two months if he wins the election, which led Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to ask his rival to explain how he plans to do so.
The social cost of suspending construction work on the Taipei Dome for three years and nine months was about NT$22 billion (US$711.51 million), and opinion polls show that the public has little confidence in Ko’s ability to resolve the issue, Ting said.
Removing rust from the Dome over the past nearly four years has cost about NT$2 billion, downtime pay for the 126 subcontractors was about NT$8 billion, the cost of delayed commercial use was about NT$8 billion, and the cost of delayed stadium use was about NT$4 billion, he said.
Ko has talked through his hat and been inconsistent on the project, calling it a graft case before he became mayor and then later saying that the city government would negotiate with contractor Farglory Group, but there have been rumors that city officials met with Farglory management in private to discuss the project, he said.
Some construction seems to be recently finished, so he wondered if this was because Ko was feeling pressure over next month’s elections and had secretly decided to allow the firm to speed up work on some parts of the project, Ting said.
“I want to tell everyone, if Ting Shou-chung becomes mayor, I will definitely face the problem and solve it within two months,” he said. “I will ask fair and professional non-stakeholders — specialists and academics with engineering backgrounds — to conduct an overall safety inspection.”
Ko said that the project was a mess created by his predecessors.
“Come on, the Taipei Dome project is a big mess left behind by two KMT mayors and I am forced to clean it up. How do you [Ting] have the gall to make such remarks?” he said.
If city officials had really held secret talks with the contractor, problems with the project would have already been resolved, he said.
Asked about Ting’s remarks, Taipei Dome Preparatory Office Deputy Director Chen Shih-hao (陳世浩) said he could not evaluate Ting’s cost estimates, because he does not know how he valued the different elements.
Construction of the curtain wall, which appears to be making progress, is one of the 14 safety-related remedial tasks that the Taipei High Administrative Court’s ruling allowed to be continued, although work on it is actually suspended at this time, Chen said.
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