Why does it take two years to complete lift upgrading when new condominiums can be built in that time?
West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har raised this point in Parliament yesterday, following feedback from residents.
Responding, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan said that under the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP), it takes six months to upgrade an existing lift and 16 months to build a new lift shaft with a new lift in it.
The building of new lifts in their lift shaft is more complicated because HDB's appointed contractors need to work with other agencies to detect and divert underground services such as telecoms, power supply, water and sewage pipelines.
Minimise disruption The contractors are also constrained by construction hours and the need to minimise disruption to residents, compared to work on green field sites, he added.
To minimise inconveniences to the residents, he said that HDB had taken active steps to shorten the time needed for on-site construction work.
For instance, HDB cut the time needed for construction by two months when it introduced the use of pre-fabricated steel lift shafts in 2007.
More recently, HDB cut down the underground service diversion phase of LUP works by two months through streamlining the process involving multiple agencies.
Mr Lee assured the House that HDB will continue to look at ways to expedite LUP works without compromising quality and safety.
This article was first published in The New Paper.