Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Farglory needs to submit design on new capacity

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in Taipei yesterday answers questions about the role of Taipei Rapid Transit Corp chairman Lee Wen-tsung, then a consultant for the city government, in a meeting concerning the Taipei Dome project last year.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government will ask Taipei Dome contractor Farglory Group to submit a design with a maximum capacity of 59,833 people, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

Ko made the remark at the Taipei City Council in response to city councilors’ claim that city officials had been trying to negotiate a capacity of about 70,000 to favor Farglory.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chien Hsu-pei (簡舒培) on May 30 revealed seven short audio clips cut from a recording of what sounded like city department heads discussing the project.

The recording was made on Nov. 29 last year, Chien said.

City councilors yesterday asked Ko why the department heads had met, as there were no public records of a meeting held on that day.

They said the meeting went against Ko’s principle of being “open and transparent,” while some questioned whether certain city officials were lobbying for Farglory.

City councilors asked why the meeting was seemingly held by Taipei Rapid Transit Corp chairman Lee Wen-tsung (李文宗), then a consultant for the city government, and whether he had exceeded his authority in doing so.

Ko said the recording was from an internal “gathering,” not a formal meeting, and it was held because the city government is not only the reviewer of the project, but also one of its contractors.

Ko said that Lee, representing him, had gathered the officials to discuss several issues, such as maximum capacity and 57 pick-up and drop-off locations for buses, hoping to reach an internal consensus, but to no avail.

Ko denied that the officials were pressed to agree to conditions in favor of Farglory, adding that they would perform their duties according to the law.

City councilors asked why none of the nominees for a new urban design review committee specialized in computer simulations for disaster emergency sheltering, which is needed to help determine the Dome’s maximum capacity.

Ko said he would ask Farglory to submit documents based on a capacity of 59,833 people, which was approved in an environmental impact assessment review, adding that his conscience is clear that the city government has not made concessions to help the firm pass reviews easily.

Ko said the city government halted the construction project in 2015 because 79 items were not constructed according to the approved blueprint and seven public safety standards were announced the same year, which remain the same today.

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