Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) facilitating a construction license for the Taipei Dome project is an attempt to show that the Taipei City Government under his lead has made tangible progress in its administration of the capital, Taipei city councilors said yesterday.
The Taipei Construction Management Office on Monday approved changes made to the construction license of the Taipei Dome and said that a new license would be issued by the end of the month.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chung Pei-chun (鍾沛君) said that Ko had been elected after complaining that the Taipei Dome and other projects had been plagued by corruption and mismanagement.
“Now that Ko is on his way out, he is trying to salvage the situation and treating the project as an achievement,” Chung said.
KMT City Councilor Chang Szu-kang (張斯綱) said that Ko’s handling of the issue was a complete U-turn from his stance when he was first elected.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said that Ko’s decision to issue a license was premature, as the issues of light pollution and the safety of students at Guangfu Elementary School remained unresolved.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Liang-jyun (林亮君) accused Ko of blatantly favoring Farglory Group, the company leading the project.
Ko said that the project has been in limbo for five years and regardless of its outcome, it would not be considered an achievement for his administration, adding that the city government was handling the issue practically.
“It [Taipei Dome] is already there and it would be impossible to tear it down at a moment’s notice,” Ko said.
The city government is to hold a news conference next week to answer all questions regarding the approval of the license, it said.
The government has not flip-flopped on the project and had been seeking a resolution under the seven public safety standards in the original proposal, Ko said.
The approval of the license means that Farglory can begin construction again, Ko said, adding that the company would still have to resolve the project’s contraventions of the Building Technical Regulations (建築技術規則).
“The license is only a part of a process that would see the Taipei Dome completed and begin operations,” Ko said.
The review of the project was conducted with utmost transparency, Ko said, and under such conditions “it would be very difficult to be openly supporting one side or another.”
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