Yilan radar station down for 307 days last year: lawmaker
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Twenty two of Taiwan's 78 coastal radar stations were malfunctioning for over 100 days in 2012, including the Gueishandao (龜山島) Radar Station in Yilan County which was down for 307 days last year, a lawmaker said recently.
October 15, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) criticized the high malfunction rate as a major flaw in Taiwan's coastal security systems.
“It's ridiculous, the Coast Guard Administration should hold relevant personnel responsible for dereliction of duty,” Lee said.
In addition to the Gueishandao Radar Station, the Houdongshan (猴洞山) and Mudan (牡丹) Radar Stations in Pingtung County also saw little action, as they were down for 224 days and 208 days last year, respectively, Lee said.
In total, coastal radar stations across Taiwan experienced 4,244 days of downtime last year, many times higher than the 296 days in 2011, Lee said. During the past year, the coast guard brought 27 percent fewer drug trafficking cases, 18 percent fewer smuggling cases and 36 percent fewer human trafficking cases compared to 2011. Lee wondered if the abnormal long duration of radar station downtime was the result of “deliberate cover up for trafficking.”
The Coast Guard Administration stressed that long gaps in station operation were not caused by dereliction of duty or deliberate cover-ups but by a contractor that had rescinded its contract unexpectedly. The contractor ended its service on Feb. 24, 2012, citing technological limits as a reason for not being able to fulfill its contractual requirements. The government has demanded compensations from the contractor and station operation returned to normal after a new contractor came onboard last October, the Coast Guard Administration said.