MPs ask about wait for lift upgrading
MPs lobbied the Ministry of National Development on Thursday for faster completion of lift upgrading works in their wards on Thursday and asked the Government to do more for those blocks where lift upgrading is technically infeasible.
Both Workers' Party MP Png Eng Huat (Hougang SMC) and PAP MP Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) said that some blocks in their wards have been waiting for years for their lifts to be upgraded.
In response, Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan gave his assurance that all lift upgrading works are still on track to be completed by 2014, which is when the programme is slated to wrap up. He also said that for any given block, it typically takes a year to go from the announcement of the programme to the polling exercise and then two and a half years from the polling exercise to the completion of works.
Mr Png said that the wait for some blocks in Hougang had exceeded the timeline.
Mr Lee said that the scale and complexity of each project differs, so the time taken can vary, but that he would look into the Hougang case.
PAP MPs Zainudin Nordin (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) and Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC) asked for more to be done for residents in blocks where lift upgrading has been deemed technically infeasible. Mr Lee said that when HDB first started the lift upgrading programme, it identified 1,000 blocks with technical constraints. Through innovative construction solutions, it has since brought this down to 200 blocks.
For residents in these 200 blocks with disabilities and mobility problems, HDB helps families relocate to other units on a case-by-case basis. Mr Baey suggested giving each such family a $30,000 cash subsidy to facilitate their relocation, which he said is the subsidy amount that each unit enjoys for the lift upgrading programme. The Government is still looking at options to help such residents, replied Mr Lee.