Both lifts break down in 25-storey HDB block

The only two lifts at Block 7, Toa Payoh Lorong 7, broke down on Sunday afternoon, leaving some residents huffing and puffing after many were forced to take the stairs.
The only two lifts at Block 7, Toa Payoh Lorong 7, broke down on Sunday afternoon, leaving some residents huffing and puffing after many were forced to take the stairs. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The only two lifts at Block 7, Toa Payoh Lorong 7, broke down on Sunday afternoon, leaving some residents huffing and puffing after many were forced to take the stairs.

It took about five hours before the lifts in the 25-storey block were repaired at around 8pm.

Retiree Phang York Ling, 72, who lives on the top floor, had returned to the block on Sunday at 7pm to see her neighbours gathered at the void deck waiting for the lifts to be repaired.

"We didn't know how long they would take, so I decided to walk up. "I was huffing and puffing and took about 30 minutes to climb the stairs. My grandchildren were much faster, they took 10 minutes."

Madam Phang, who has lived there for 10 years, said: "This shouldn't have happened, we have some elderly and wheelchair-bound people in the block."

She added that a similar incident happened in January.

 

Residents say one lift broke down last Friday and the town council had been informed while another broke down on Sunday. When The Straits Times visited the block yesterday, one lift was working normally while the other was under maintenance.

There was a notice from the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council outside the latter stating that the lift would be undergoing "major repair and replacement works" and would be out of use until Oct 19.

Lift breakdowns in the block have become more frequent in the last two years, said a 56-year-old resident who declined to be named.

"There have been instances where they repair the lift and it spoils again soon after. I hope they can get to the root of the issue," said the civil servant, whose extended family climbed over 20 floors on Sunday to have dinner at her place.

On Sunday, a housewife, who wanted to be known only as Madam Ngui, had returned to the block at around 4pm with her husband and young children, only to find that the lifts were not working. "We didn't want to climb up with the children as it would be too tiring, so we went out again to run errands nearby," the 30-year-old said, adding that in her four years living there, they have experienced problems with the lifts at least once a month.

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Saktiandi Supaat told The Straits Times that he and the town council were aware of the problem, and technicians have been working to get both lifts fully operational.

"I understand why some residents are irked, and it affects especially those living on the upper floors," he added.

The MP said the town council was planning to call a tender for a lift replacement project throughout the GRC in the middle of next year. "I'm hoping the project can happen soon, ahead of lifts' recommended 28-year lifespan. I will also push for blocks with high frequencies of breakdown to get priority for replacement."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Both lifts break down in 25-storey HDB block'. Print Edition | Subscribe