Tainan, Chiayi ask Ma for anti-flood funding
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tainan and Chiayi yesterday asked President Ma Ying-jeou to continue funding a major flood prevention project in Southern Taiwan as Typhoon Usagi approached.
September 21, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te and his Chiayi County counterpart Chang Hua-kuan made the call via video-conference with Ma, who was overseeing the central government's disaster response center as Taiwan braces for the onslaught of Usagi.
Ma said the central government will within three months complete an evaluation of the efficacy of the NT$80 billion flood prevention project carried out in Southern Taiwan over the last eight years before deciding whether further funding is necessary.
Southern Taiwan was devastated by heavy flooding caused by Tropical Storm Kong-Rey last month, triggering a row between the local government chiefs and Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan.
Lee claimed that further flood-prevention funds for Southern Taiwan would be a waste as local administrations failed to address fundamental problems. Local chiefs stressed that the previous NT$80 billion had already achieved significant results but further funding would be necessary.
Tainan Mayor Lai said the joint flood-prevention efforts taken by the central and local governments in recent years have been a success, and he hopes the central government can continue to allocate funding.
“You can't half shave your head and then stop,” Chang, the Chiayi County chief, said, referring to the flood-prevention project during the video-conference session with Ma. She said flood-prevention work has yet to be completed at some of the rivers in Southern Taiwan.
She asked Lee to come down to Southern Taiwan and see for himself the results achieved by the local governments.
Ma replied that Lee, who was also present at the meeting, will go.