Far­glory hits back over Taipei Dome

Far­glory’s ‘greed’ for big­ger Dome leads to dam­age of cul­tural park: Ko

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Far­glory Group ( Pres­i­dent Tang Chia-feng ( ) said that it would be im­pos­si­ble to dis­man­tle the Taipei Dome or change con­trac­tors, in ac­cor­dance with the BOT agree­ment signed with Taipei City. In a press con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by Far­glory, com­pany Chair­man Chao Teng-hsi­ung ( ) blasted Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) over con­tin­ued un­cer­tain­ties to­ward the com­ple­tion of the Taipei Dome, ac­cus­ing the city of politi­ciz­ing the is­sue of con­struc­tion. Chao stated he was will­ing to prom­ise “on his life” that a safe arena would be con­structed.

The re­cent row started on April 16 when city of­fi­cials deemed the struc­ture a po­ten­tial safety haz­ard. Far­glory, the con­tracted con­struc­tion firm, claims that the arena ad­heres to in­ter­na­tional safety stan­dards.

Chao vented his anger to the press yes­ter­day, say­ing that the com­pany had been “scolded, hit and has not been al­lowed to speak.” He also ac­cused city of­fi­cials of vi­o­lat­ing the rules of the game, and that Far­glory was tak­ing the blame for is­sues the city should have dealt with. Chao said that con­struc­tion was hang­ing in the bal­ance as the city gov­ern­ment acts

)

in ac­cor­dance with Mayor Ko.

Halt in Con­struc­tion could Dam­age

Metro: Ko

Ear­lier in the day, Ko stated that a tem­po­rary halt in con­struc­tion could prove detri­men­tal to Line 5 (Ban­qiaoNan­gang line) of the Taipei MRT. Un­der­ground dig­ging at the con­struc­tion site has reached a depth of 20 me­ters which, if left dor­mant, could cause a po­ten­tial cave-in, he said. He also said that more cracks have ap­peared on the his­tor­i­cal chim­ney struc­ture ad­ja­cent to the con­struc­tion site at the Song­shan Cul­tural and Cre­ative Park ( ) af­ter yes­ter­day’s earth­quake, with the dam­age ex­ac­er­bated by Far­glory’s “greed” to in­crease the to­tal area of the Dome.

Far­glory later refuted Ko’s state­ment. It also em­pha­sized that the arena would be able to with­stand a mag­ni­tude 7 earth­quake.

Ko asked Far­glory if it could vouch for the Dome’s safety. The mayor added “do you be­lieve there are no safety is­sues, and no need for im­prove­ment?”

City of­fi­cials stated in an April 16 safety re­view that the outer ar­eas of the sta­dium did not pro­vide ad­e­quate room for po­ten­tial evac­uees in an emer­gency. The sur­round­ing ar­eas of the arena can cur­rently hold ap- prox­i­mately 60,000, far short of the space needed for the ap­prox­i­mately 142,000 per­sons in a com­plete evac­u­a­tion. Ko said yes­ter­day that the city’s pre­vi­ous con­cerns about the safe evac­u­a­tion of the arena and its sur­round­ing area did not even touch upon down­town rush hour traf­fic con­di­tions.

The Taipei Dome site is lo­cated par­al­lel to the city’s main artery, Zhongx­iao East Road, and its in­ter­sec­tion with Guangfu South Road.

MeHAS City Ne­go­ti­a­tions Con­tinue

Ear­lier in the day, Ko met with mem­bers of Ra­dium Life Tech Co. (

) dur­ing sec­ond-round ne­go­ti­a­tions over the MeHAS City ( ) cor­rup­tion case.

In 2013, the Taipei Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice ac­cused for­mer of­fi­cials of the Taipei City Depart­ment of Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tems (DORTS) of re­duc­ing cost es­ti­mates to Ra­dium, while in­flat­ing the lat­ter firm’s con­tri­bu­tion to the joint devel­op­ment. For­mer Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung­bin de­manded NT$7.6 bil­lion be re­funded to the city.

Ko said that the amount of com­pen­sa­tion to the city in the MeHAS project could be dis­cussed. Taipei City of­fi­cials also want to bring other joint devel­op­ment projects onto the ta­ble for rene­go­ti­a­tion, in­clud­ing the MRT's Taipei Main, Yongchun, Muzha and Daqiao­tou sta­tions, as well as devel­op­ment of ar­eas sur­round­ing the Nan­gang MRT De­pot.

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