Taipei Metro of­fice in Taichung searched

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY KATHER­INE WEI

The Taichung Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice yes­ter­day con­ducted an im­promptu search at the Taipei Metro’s Cen­tral Dis­trict Project Of­fice in Taichung City, tak­ing away a box of doc­u­ments at the end and left no clear ex­pla­na­tion of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The probe was led by Taichung Pros­e­cu­tor Ko Hsueh-hung ( ), who headed to the Taipei Depart­ment of Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tem’s (DRTS, or the Taipei Metro) Cen­tral Dis­trict Project Of­fice (CDPO) yes­ter­day af­ter­noon with pros­e­cu­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tors and po­lice of­fi­cers and stayed for an hour and half be­fore leav­ing with the doc­u­ments.

Ko de­clined to com­ment on the probe, but his mo­tives were said to be tied with the re­cent Taichung Metro Green Line con­struc­tion col­lapse that took four lives and in­jured an­other four. Of­fi­cial Hong Chung-kun ( ) of the CDPO said af­ter the probe that the pros­e­cu­tion wished to com­pare con­struc­tion in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the con­trac­tors with the in­for­ma­tion the Taichung City Gov­ern­ment re­ceived prior to con­struc­tion to see if the ac­tual work was in sync with the re­ports. “The rest I’m not at lib­erty to re­veal,” said Hong.

No Need to Speed Up Con­struc­tion: DRTS

The DRTS pointed out to­day that the metro line run­ning from Wuri ( ) to Beitun ( ) is ahead of its slated con­struc­tion sched­ule at the mo­ment, and will be fin­ished from 2017 to 2018 if the pace is kept up; there is cur­rently no need to speed up con­struc­tion.

Many have been point­ing the fin­ger at in­cum­bent Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung ( ), who had or­dered for con­struc­tion to be com­pleted ear­lier than the orig­i­nal com­ple­tion date. Lin’s or­ders were said to have re­sulted in the ac­ci­dent in­di­rectly, as the screws se­cur­ing the suspended steel gird­ers were not fully screwed on, pos­si­bly by work­ers seek­ing to save time.

Ac­cord­ing to the DRTS, the slated trial op­er­a­tion start for the Wuri-Beitun line was Oc­to­ber 2015, and 70.5 per­cent of the con­struc­tion is com­pleted as of now.

Con­trol Yuan Look­ing into

Ac­ci­dent

Con­trol Yuan mem­bers Teresa Yin ( ) and Chang Jen-hsiang ( ) an­nounced yes­ter­day their de­ci­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the Taichung Metro girder col­lapse, in or­der to un­der­stand if the cen­tral or lo­cal gov­ern­ment were in any way re­spon­si­ble for the ac­ci­dent.

The two were ap­pointed to be the Con­trol Yuan mem­bers in charge of Taichung this year, and said yes­ter­day that they wished to look into the rea­sons be­hind con­struc­tion be­ing car­ried out dur­ing day­time rush

hour, in­stead of at night.

Taichung Mayor Firm on Road

Us­age Pol­icy

Lin was also crit­i­cized for his pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion to re­move the bar­ri­ers sur­round­ing the metro con­struc­tion sites, as he wished to keep the traf­fic go­ing de­spite the on­go­ing constructions. “The bar­ri­ers are taken away or re­duced in num­ber ac­cord­ing to con­struc­tion progress. The pol­icy to ‘re­turn the roads to the peo­ple’ will not change,” said Lin yes­ter­day.

“Bar­ri­ers will be re­moved from the sec­tions that are com­pleted first,” said Lin, who added that the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment and the Taichung City Gov­ern­ment will be con­duct­ing sec­tional ex­am­i­na­tions on the Green Line constructions.

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