PAP town councils set aside $45m to improve lifts

PAP town councils to act on recommendations in Lift Taskforce study

Over the next five years, PAP Town Councils will pump in a total of $45 million to make lifts safer and more reliable.

This comes after yesterday's release of a preliminary study from the PAP Lift Taskforce headed by Dr Teo Ho Pin, PAP town councils' coordinating chairman.

The taskforce suggested that the 15 PAP town councils conduct cost analysis to track maintenance and replacement expenditure.

Formed in July after a spate of serious accidents involving lifts, the taskforce also recommended additional checks and preventive maintenance above the requirements of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for five critical lift components such as door mechanisms and brakes.

It suggested that each lift undergoes an average of 100 minutes of lift servicing each month, subject to the number of lift landings.

Other recommendations include installing a lift surveillance system in each lift to provide 24-hour monitoring for safety and rescue purposes and the development of a dashboard management system to monitor the performance of lifts and lift contractors.

Currently, there are 24,000 lifts in public housing estates islandwide.

In July, BCA recommended that all lift owners update their older lifts with several features that are found in newer models.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong told Parliament in September that HDB will implement a new Lift Enhancement Programme (LEP), which will cost an estimated $450 million.

The programme, to be rolled out over a period of 10 years, is aimed at refurbishing existing lifts under 18 years old.


The Government will co-fund around 90 per cent of the town councils' costs to install the enhancement features.

The Taskforce said the PAP town councils will give priority for LEP implementation based on the age and performance of the lifts.

In a separate media release yesterday, the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council said it will spend about $17.5 million over the next five years to replace ageing lifts.

This will be funded mainly through the town council's sinking fund.

AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said that its town council's lift department continues to review the scope of maintenance works required by each age group of lifts to identify possible areas to improve maintenance.

The AHTC, which manages more than 1,700 lifts, said it plans to progressively schedule lifts nearing the 15-year mark of their lifespan for HDB's LEP.

Under HDB guidelines, lifts are scheduled for major upgrading or replacement after 28 years of being in operation.

The AHTC said some older lifts had critical parts that became obsolete earlier, "contributing to frequent breakdowns", and will be replaced 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.

Cabby Stephen Tan, 56, who lives in Pasir Ris where the lifts are over 20 years old, is willing to pay more for maintenance and hopes that his lifts will be replaced soon.

The father of three said: "There are more elderly people here, and I am scared for them because of the possible danger with the lifts.

"I believe that the cost would not be much because it is shared, and I am willing because this is for everybody's safety."

This article was first published on December 06, 2016.
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