Error delays new lifts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 September, 2009, 12:00am

The Housing Department has admitted that a lift-modernisation project at a housing estate in Kowloon Bay has had to be delayed for months because of inaccurate building plans.

The project, which began last September and involves 27 lifts in six blocks at the 28-year-old Kai Yip Estate, includes providing a lift service on floors that previously had none, requiring holes to be knocked in the walls. But the builders found that some walls shown as being made of bricks were in fact concrete, requiring revision of the design.

As a result, the first phase of the project, originally due for completion in June, has been extended to this month and the second phase to December.

'For safety reasons, it is necessary to check the structural aspect of the lift opening and submit the revised design for approval by the department's independent checking unit. This is the main cause of the delay,' department chief manager Philip Chiu Kin-chee said.

He gave an assurance that no extra costs would be incurred. The six-phase project, costing HK$30 million, is to be completed in 2011.

'We have actually conducted similar projects in more than a dozen housing estates across the territory and this is the first time we have encountered such problems,' Chiu said, adding that the plans were drafted by the Housing Department.

The estate accommodates 6,000 households. Chiu apologised to the affected tenants and said the department would provide assistance to those with special needs.