By Queena Yen ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Department of Urban Development (DUD, 台北市都發局) of Taipei City announced yesterday that they will cooperate with architects to inspect for the potential danger of falling tiles that might hurt passers-by, and they suggest that the central government amend laws to protect pedestrians. Ben Tai-ming (邊泰明), the commissioner of DUD, said they will urge the central government to standardize the quality of construction on exterior walls, since other cities in Taiwan may have the same problem. Ben also suggested that the central government regulate all building owners and require them to buy public liability insurance to guarantee safety. In addition, the DUD also plans to amend the Building Administration self-governance articles (建築管理自治條例) of Taipei City to further protect citizens.
Ben pointed out that there were 800 cases of potential danger from falling tiles reported by local areas since June. The DUD encourages citizens to report similar cases and create a safer environment. The DUD has also cooperated with the Taipei Architects Association to inspect the exterior walls of older buildings to see if there is any potential danger of falling tiles. Once a building is identified as a potential hazard, the DUD will request that the building’s owners repair the wall immediately. If the owners fail to improve the situation, they will be fined NT$60,000. The DUD plans to invest NT$10 million in a project to enhance public safety in Taipei City, stated the DUD. Meanwhile, the DUD will publicize all cases of violation online so that safety information can be viewed by all citizens.