Current coordinating chairman for PAP town councils, MP Teo Ho Pin, said that the PAP Town Councils will start raising the service and conservancy charges (SnCC) for upgrading of existing lifts. The Building Construction Authority (BCA) submitted 8 recommendations including safety features for existing HDB lifts to the Singapore government and the first response of the PAP MP is to raise SnCC:
“A lift review taskforce has been formed for the PAP’s 15 town councils to look into the new safety regulations, as well as these voluntary measures. When completed in November, the list of recommendations will be submitted to the HDB. We have 22,500 lifts with different age groups and design, so definitely, there’ll be some that need upgrading. But enhancing these lifts means there will be a cost, for servicing and maintenance.”
BCA’s list of eight recommendations includes having a life phone and power back-up. These are based off consultation with the lift industry and lift audit checks. The move was made in response to the spate of faulty lift incidents resulted from the lack of maintenance services in HDB blocks under PAP Town Councils. Lift contractors said that there is a labour crunch for lift technicians. This manpower shortage is largely due to low salaries and long working hours, a common problem among Singapore’s engineering sector.
The Workers’ Party-held Aljunied Town Council will however likely absorb the costs of these upgrades.