Grilled by lawmakers on the issue of expensive, yet underused parking facilities, known as “mosquito houses” (蚊子館), the Public Construction Commission (PCC) yesterday said it would reinvestigate all such facilities nationwide within a month and deliver a report on improving their usage.
The National Audit Office recently released a list of 13 public facilities that cost nearly NT$1.6 billion (US$54 million) to build, but are shunned by the public, who consider them “mosquito houses.”
At the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday, PCC Deputy Minister Yan Jeou-rong (顏久榮), in response to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Chi-chang’s (蔡其昌) question of how many of these public facilities are listed by the commission for management, said there are a total of 88 across the nation.
However, Tsai said that according to Yao Jui-chung’s (姚瑞中) book, Mirage — Disused public property in Taiwan (海市蜃樓—台灣閒置公共設施攝影計劃), there are at least 100 “mosquito houses.”
“So it is possible that some facilities have not been listed by the commission yet,” Tsai said.
He added that the government spent about NT$5.8 billion on constructing buildings for the Taipei International Flora Expo and there has been no income at all from these buildings since May last year.
However, the buildings are not even listed by the commission for reuse, he said.
“How do you want the public to believe that the commission can now come up with good ways to use these ‘mosquito houses’ that the government wasted taxpayers’ money on, when the buildings at the Taipei International Flora Expo are not even listed?” he said.
Yan said that most of the facilities listed by the commission are managed by the central government and as it makes an effort to inspect all these facilities, it has also asked local governments to report on the situation in their areas.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) said that local governments should be required to submit a 10-to-15-year management plan for major exhibitions or activities, before they are allowed to build facilities for such exhibitions.
DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) demanded that the commission recheck and make public all “mosquito houses,” as well as announce plans for their management on a seasonal basis.
Yan said that his agency would do so.