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Builder hits back at Taipei mayor over Taipei Dome project delay

Builder hits back at Taipei mayor over Taipei Dome project delay

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) The builder of the Taipei Dome on Tuesday accused popular Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je of delaying the completion of the stadium project by condemning its safety with no evidence. Chao Teng-hsiung, chairman of the Farglory Group, the main contractor for the project, told a press conference that construction of the Taipei Dome had been delayed for more than 100 days simply because the Taipei City government had to act in accordance with the will of the populist mayor. While some people have blamed his construction company for not honoring the contract with the city government, Chao said it is the city government that was not honoring the contract because it had failed to do what it should under the terms of the agreement. "How can you blame us?" he complained. On Ko's concern that the dome's design has revealed a major safety defect, Chao invited architect Lo Hsing-hua to help him explain why professional builders would not agree with the city government's method of testing the building's safety. Lo said there are eight passages to emergency exits in the 40,000-seat stadium, and yet the city government chose to use a computer simulation to test just one of them and then jumped to the conclusion that the fire exits cannot evacuate all members of the audience in time. "The city government has cited wrong data to prove its point," Lo said. In the case of an emergency, all human beings are inclined to find the closest way out, Lo said. "And all public buildings have their own SOP (standard operating procedure) for safety which is formulated through constant drills," he added. Ko's deputy, Teng Chia-chi, said the city government's public safety committee had used relevant data to enact all scenarios for the sake of ensuring safety in the future. "All data and our methods of testing have been published online for public review," Teng said. Chao said it would be a joke to say the building, once in use, would be unsafe because he had upgraded earthquake-resistance capabilities from an intensity of five to seven, "much more safe than many other major buildings around the world." But the city government's April 16 report on its safety checks on the yet-to-be-completed building found five major issues and proposed two solutions -- either demolish the dome or tear down the adjacent shopping mall. On April 19, Ko urged Chao to come to the negotiating table with the city government and put forward a third or a fourth solution. By Monday evening, Deputy Mayor Teng had toned down the rhetoric a bit, welcoming Chao to "come to City Hall to discuss safety issues" regarding the dome project. (By Ku Chuan, Pan Chih-yi and S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-21 00:26 GMT+08:00