Taipei to probe Taipei Dome safety next week

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By Nine Hsieh, Special to The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taipei City Council Public Works Committee (台北市議會工務委員會) stated on Thursday that its assessment of the safety of the unfinished Taipei Dome’s structure would commence next week.

Due to a failure to abide by construction safety regulations, Farglory (遠雄集團) was forced to concede to “consensual termination” of its contract with the city to build the arena, reported the Central News Agency. When asked about the possibility of completing construction of the sports complex, Taipei City Government Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) confirmed that the Dome would be built at a reduced scale, allowing it to solve concerns about the building’s safety. Lin stated that reducing the scale would translate to a smaller indoor floor area. However, reduction of the arena’s seating capacity would be dependent on what a new contract stipulates. Farglory has not yet made any changes to the building’s seating. During the meeting with the Taipei City Council Public Works Committee, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Councilor Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) pointed out that the Taipei City Government held various views toward the Taipei Dome, with some looking to cease construction and others calling for handing the project over to a new contractor. Ho also made requests to the city’s Department of Urban Development (台北市都發局) to explain the seemingly contradictory statements made recently by the government regarding “consensual termination” of the contract for the Dome’s construction. The Taipei City Government hopes to avoid a buyback, while Farglory states that it only seeks compensation for the work completed before suspension of the project. Ko Not a Figurehead In addressing questions about who had authority to speak on the issue of the Dome’s construction, the city government clarified that policy options are still being made by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), and denied treating the mayor as a “figurehead” in the issue at hand. The city government’s response came after a recent press release in which it was stated that all updates regarding the Dome’s construction will be released by Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) and government spokespeople.