Thursday, July 16, 2009

What is the Cause?

What a mess! This construction is not suppose to be extremely high difficulty...why so many problem? So much money and so much time wasted! And this is the result? Just looks very bad. People say don't spend money on Kidd class destroyers because they are expensive "garbage steel." Look carefully, people. This 內捷 is the real "expensive garbage steel."

Looking back, we can see a lot of expensive, wasteful and poor construction in Taipei during Ma's time as Mayor of Taipei. I am trying to compile a summary lists in English...but since they all use Mandarin them, it's kind of difficult. I will attempt it later. Looking at all of them I see some pattern in this series of disasters.

The Lack of Foresight And Understanding of the Environment
Take Maokong Gondola for example, the cart are fully sealed!!! Don't those planners know that Taiwan is hot during summer? And now look at this new rail system. The cart is just too small and tight. Also, many people pointed out, the city planned the system as medium load mass transit, but that area is obviously booming and the amount of possible passengers should warrant a heavy load mass transit design. Plus, from some photos I saw, the inside is so narrow; I doubt you can actually call it even medium size.
Other than the transit system, there are plenty of examples as well. For example, several construction or reconstructions of marketplaces are just total failures. The most famous case is the one where they make a glass cylinder structure. The problem with it is numerous. The market is supposed for Taiwanese food restaurant. But because the place is sealed up, it gets very hot inside. Also, each compartment is too small and closed in for any practical purpose. In the end those restaurants just left the place, and the place becomes another garbage construction.

Lust for Credit: Speed and Quantity Instead of Good Design and Quality
The two prime example are the Maokong Gondola and the recent new rail system. Maokong Gondola did not have environmental assessment. How is that possible? Because Taipei city treat it as "amusement" construction and under the law those construction does not need environmental assessment. It is really a big mistake not to have one because just a simple one would have prevent the problems with the infamous tower 16. (As someone shown before, geographical survey of the hills around those areas is available and quite comprehensive. But apparently no one in Ma's team even takes a look)
But why don't they do it? I think they just want to speed things up. They want to finish the construction near the end of Ma's 8 years as Taipei Mayor. Indeed, all those construction are finished or near finished within his term, but they are all in extremely poor quality. Further, they are all much smaller projects than what people expected. For example, full transportation system is changed to "amusement" system. Heavy load mass transit is instead medium load mass transit. "Small Giant Egg" Baseball Park is complete (without proper fire alarm system by the way if I remembered correctly) but "Big Giant Egg" baseball park is nowhere in sight. It is obvious. Ma prefers many small and fast constructions instead of a few huge and slow constructions. Things like Taipei 101 or high-speed rail is not his cup of tea (Taipei 101 started during Chen's term). His lack of foresight and lust for credits caused the waste of billions of taxpayers' money.

Putting Blames on Others and the Lower Ranks
Every time this shit happens, what is the result? Well, most of the time we just see someone else taking the blame. Of course, people might view this differently. Some might say, you cannot blame everything on Ma and maybe others made mistakes that Ma did not know. Of course, I also know that could be the case is some area. However, overall, aren't some of the top decision and planning a huge mistake? And aren't the screw all loose in Ma's team? During Chen's time, which most of the lower rank officials are the same, do we see that much problems? I believe some of the top decision and mentality are the cause of all these problems, because they are just too numerous, and they all share a similar pattern in terms of problems.

This is just my random thoughts on the stuff I read and see over the past few months. I will try to put a more comprehensive summary on this later. Need to find some old links, photos etc to have a more clear summary of these.

Today's Taipei Times have 2 detail articles regarding this:

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