Supply and demand in the nation’s sand and gravel market has gradually begun to return to equilibrium, Minister Without Portfolio Wu Tze-cheng (吳澤成) said on Monday.
Wu, who chairs the Public Construction Commission, made the remark in a briefing to the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee about the commission’s operations.
Many lawmakers expressed concerns over reported shortages of sand and gravel nationwide.
The problem was mainly caused by a postponement of dredging of the Gaoping River (高屏溪), which led to a shortage of sand and gravel in southern Taiwan, Wu said.
The shortage was also exacerbated by suppliers replacing older gravel trucks, leaving them with insufficient trucks to transport the materials, he said.
The supply of sand and gravel from the Gaoping River resumed on Jan. 10 after the Pingtung County Government restarted dredging, he added.
As for a shortage of sand and gravel in northern Taiwan, Wu said that the commission has asked the Ministry of Economic Affairs to increase the amount of the materials transported from eastern Taiwan.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is to help facilitate the transportation of sand and gravel by speeding up processing at the Port of Taipei, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said that most of the sand and gravel used in northern Taiwan is imported from China, which — along with Southeast Asian countries — has reduced exports of the materials.
Taiwan must be self-reliant in this regard, Yeh said.
There are 30,000 construction projects in Taiwan each year, which the commission should prioritize based on importance, region and launch date to avoid strain due to a lack of resources in one area, DPP Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) said, adding that failure to do so could delay all construction.
Despite the slight improvements in supply, a commission report provided to the committee showed that it has yet to fully meet demand for sand and gravel.
The amount of sand and gravel extracted from the Gaoping River last year fell by 1.94 million tonnes, while the inventories of the materials in southern Taiwan from May to December last year decreased by 6 million tonnes, the report said.
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground