No lift at Jurong block for 12 weeks and the wait's not over

Residents are upset the lift is still out of order, given that the incident occurred on July 1, and that the lift was installed only five years ago. Six families in the four-storey block have had to bear with the hassle of climbing up and down stairs
Residents are upset the lift is still out of order, given that the incident occurred on July 1, and that the lift was installed only five years ago. Six families in the four-storey block have had to bear with the hassle of climbing up and down stairs for the past 12 weeks.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Replacement part for lift that fell in July being made overseas, to be shipped over next month

Six families in a four-storey HDB block in Jurong have been left with no lift access for 12 weeks, ever since a lift broke down in July.

Lift D in Block 542, Jurong West Ave 1, has been closed for repairs after it plunged four floors, leaving a woman with a fractured leg.

The town council said repairs took longer than expected as a final component had to be ordered from overseas. It hopes the lift can be up and running by the end of next month.

But residents are upset the lift is still out of order, given that the incident occurred on July 1, and that the lift was installed only five years ago. Some have expressed hope that their share of the lift upgrading costs can be deferred or even partially waived.

A legal secretary who lives on the fourth floor, and who wanted to be known only as Ms Nora, 35, said it has been a hassle climbing up and down the stairs. She is six months pregnant.

"What can I do?" she said in frustration. "We don't know when it will really be fixed, and if it will be free of problems this time."

Mr Tan Teck Soon, 50, a cook who lives on the second floor, said he sometimes has to make two trips on days when he has heavier bags of groceries.

UNCERTAINTIES

What can I do? We don't know when it will really be fixed, and if it will be free of problems this time.

MS NORA, a resident who lives on the fourth floor and is six months pregnant.


ALMOST DONE

All repairs have been completed except for the replacement of a lift component.

JURONG-CLEMENTI TOWN COUNCIL GENERAL MANAGER HO THIAN POH

But what bugs him is having to fork out the instalments for his $2,700 share of a lift that failed so soon after the upgrading programme in 2012. Prior to that, residents did not have a lift.

Said Mr Tan: "It would be good if they can delay the payments, especially since we haven't been able to use what we paid for. It would be even better if they give us a 'discount' for the lift."

Other residents questioned the frequency of breakdowns in a relatively new lift. Student Najihah Sukairi, 14, who lives on the second floor, said the lift had stalled at least twice or thrice in the year before the July incident. She is now accustomed to taking the stairs as "it's faster and more reliable".

In 2015, eight teenagers had to be rescued after they overloaded the lift. The lift, by local firm BNF Group, can take up to 270kg, or about four adults.

In response to The Sunday Times, Jurong-Clementi Town Council general manager Ho Thian Poh said tests and checks for the lift were completed on Aug 23, and that BNF has been carrying out repair works since then.

"All repairs have been completed except for the replacement of a lift component," he said.

The part is being manufactured overseas and will be shipped over middle of next month.

Said town council chairman Ang Wei Neng: "Our immediate priority is to get the lift operating as soon as possible in October. We are also considering options to assist the residents in the meanwhile."

The Sunday Times understands that the remaining component is a governor - a safety mechanism that triggers a warning if a lift is going at a speed faster than it should.

The Building and Construction Authority stepped up audit inspections after the rules for lift upkeep were tightened in July last year, while government grants were disbursed to help town councils fund lift repairs and maintenance.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 24, 2017, with the headline 'No lift at Jurong block for 12 weeks and the wait's not over'. Print Edition | Subscribe