Uphill task in solving problem of faulty lifts at flats


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 23 Feb 2018

Chow (right) inspecting repair work on one of the lifts that has broken down at the flats.

RESIDENTS of 320 units at the Kedah Road flats, many of whom are handicapped and elderly, were forced to climb up and down the 22-storey building for four days until two of the four faulty lifts were fixed.

One of the residents, who wanted to be known only as Soundarjan, said it was the first time all four of the elevators at the flats were simultaneously out of service.

The 58-year-old retiree, who has been staying at his two-room unit on the 18th floor for about 20 years, said this was not the first time that some of the elevators were closed for maintenance.

“It has been difficult having to climb up and down the stairs, but I feel more sorry for the elderly and handicapped residents.

“Some of the wheelchair-bound residents needed to be carried up and down by their family members,” he lamented when met at the flats’ courtyard recently.

At a press conference at the flats later, Padang Kota Gerakan constituency coordinator H’ng Khoon Leng said the problem should have been resolved much earlier when the first two elevators broke down in August last year.

(From right) H’ng, Ng and Tay checking out the lifts that are out of service at the Kedah Road flats in George Town, Penang.
(From right) H’ng, Ng and Tay checking out the lifts that are out of service at the Kedah Road flats in George Town, Penang.

He said that he, state Gerakan Wanita deputy chief Datuk Ng Siew Lai and an anonymous donor donated RM1,000 each to help with the maintenance cost of all four lifts.

H’ng added that the overuse of the two remaining elevators was likely the reason why they eventually broke down too.

Kedah Road Complex Association chairman Tay Chye Hock said repairs for the first two elevators that broke down last year was delayed as they had trouble collecting funds for the estimated RM20,352 maintenance cost.

“The cost of repairing the other two elevators that broke down recently is RM19,855.”

Later at a press conference, state executive councillor and Padang Kota assemblyman Chow Kon Yeow said he had an emergency meeting at the flats with representatives of the management corporation (MC), residents association and officers from Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to decide on an immediate solution to get the lifts working again.

“The breakdown of all the four lifts has brought great inconvenience to the residents, especially the senior citizens and visually-impaired.

An elderly resident making an arduous climb up the staircase at the Kedah Road flats after all the four lifts broke down simultaneously.
An elderly resident making an arduous climb up the staircase at the Kedah Road flats after all the four lifts broke down simultaneously.

“The MC has applied for assistance from the State Housing Department under the State 80:20 Maintenance Fund. The MC also conducted a collection drive last year and managed to collect RM15,400 for the lift repair fund.

“However, before the approval was granted, the two working lifts also broke down, leaving the flats with no functioning lifts to serve the residents.

“As an immediate response action, the MC used the lift funds to get one of the contractors to conduct repairs on two of the lifts,” he said. He also appealed to the residents to cooperate with the MC and RA to find a long-term solution to the problem.

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