PAP town councils allocate $45 million for safer, more reliable lifts; WP to spend $17.5m replacing old lifts

The money PAP town councils will pump in will go towards implementing recommendations revealed by the PAP Town Councils Lift Taskforce on Monday. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - All 15 People's Action Party (PAP) town councils will be pumping in $45 million to step up lift safety and reliability over the next five years.

The money will go towards implementing recommendations revealed by the PAP Town Councils Lift Taskforce on Monday.

In a separate statement on Monday, the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) said it expects to spend $17.5 million to replace selected lifts over the next five years.

The $45 million allocated for PAP's lift taskforce recommendations excludes replacement of lifts, clarified a taskforce spokeswoman. "The PAP TCs are also replacing our older lifts that are due during our cyclical maintenance works."

The PAP taskforce was set up in July and is spearheaded by Dr Teo Ho Pin, PAP Town Council's coordinating chairman.

Among its recommendations are steps to improve lift servicing and maintenance as well as to monitor the performance of lifts and lift contractors.

For instance, the town councils are recommended to carry out additional checks and adopt preventive maintenance on five critical lift components - door mechanisms, inductor switch, brakes, over-speed governor and levelling system - during servicing to enhance lift safety.

The taskforce also recommended that all town councils revise the minimum time allocated for lift servicing based on the number of lift landings, the design of lifts and the new Building and Construction Authority (BCA) requirements.

"Based on a time motion study conducted by the Lift Taskforce, we recommend an average of 100 minutes per lift for lift servicing subject to the number of lift landings," the taskforce said in a statement.

Other recommendations include a joint dashboard management system to monitor the performance of lifts and lift contractors, as well as a lift surveillance system for all lifts.

This surveillance system is expected to provide 24/7 monitoring system for safety and security, provide real-time information for man-trapped cases and deter vandalism and misuse of lifts, which are "common causes of lift failures", the taskforce said.

The PAP town councils will also undergo the optional Lift Enhancement Programme, which will see the Government set aside about $450 million over 10 years to co-fund 90 per cent of modernisation works on lifts. The town councils will pay the remaining cost.

"The PAP town councils will prioritise the LEP implementation over the next 10 years based on the age and performance of the lifts," the taskforce said.

The AHTC, which manages more than 1,700 lifts, also gave details of how it plans to implement the HDB's Lift Enhancement Programme.

Under HDB guidelines, lifts are scheduled for major upgrading or replacement after 28 years of being in operation. The AHTC thus plans to "progressively schedule lifts nearing the 15-year mark of their lifespan" for the Lift Enhancement Programme, as this roughly corresponds to the halfway point of a lift's recommended lifespan.

However, the AHTC also noted that some older lifts had critical parts which became obsolete earlier than the 28-year guideline, "contributing to frequent breakdowns".

It will thus replace selected lifts ahead of the 28-year guideline.

On Oct 6, it issued a tender for the installation of 20 new lifts in Aljunied GRC. Over the next four years, it will call similar tenders to replace selected lifts.

"Over a five-year period, the overall cost of this lift replacement exercise, funded chiefly through the Town Council's sinking fund is estimated to cost, at current prices, approximately $17.5m," said AHTC chairman Pritam Singh.

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