Taipei Metro office in Taichung searched
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
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
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.