Parliament: Government to spend $100m on new lift upgrade programme

A construction worker is seen at the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in the Henderson Crescent estate. The Government will spend nearly $100 million in a new programme to replace ageing lifts, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced
A construction worker is seen at the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in the Henderson Crescent estate. The Government will spend nearly $100 million in a new programme to replace ageing lifts, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government will spend nearly $100 million on a new programme to replace ageing lifts, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced on Wednesday.

The recently-announced Selective Lift Replacement Programme will replace about 750 lifts, primarily in Chua Chu Kang and Pasir Ris. These lifts are not included in the soon-to-be-completed Lift Upgrading Programme.

Mr Khaw said the Government will fund half the cost of replacing each lift in the new scheme, which will put it out of pocket by up to $125,000 per lift.

He was responding a question posed by Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC), whose ward will be the recipient of many of these new lifts.

Mr Khaw also said he is ramping up the pace of other upgrading projects where possible. The Home Improvement Programme (HIP), which is run by the Housing Board and spruces up individual units, will now benefit 50,000 flats a year, up from 35,000 before.

The HIP is nearly at the midpoint of its target, having started or completed works on 145,000 flats out of a total 300,000 to be covered.

"We're very confident that the entire HIP should be able to be wrapped up during the next term of Government," Mr Khaw said.

He said he is also prepared to quicken the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), which improves neighbourhood facilities, but has to be mindful of the needs of the town councils.

"For several years, we've settled at this pace of about one project per year per town council because they find that, more than one, they'll have indigestion," he joked. But he acknowledge it is difficult to speed up the NRP as it is a largely consultative exercise, which involves as many residents as possible.

"You want the locals to own the project, so they meet together, discuss 'What shall we have?'" he said. "I think that process of engagement, you cannot rush it."