In an email to the town council of Choa Chu Kang GRC, I wrote that the shelter below my block in Choa Chu Kang was scheduled to be built from 3rd Quarter to 4th Quarter of 2017. However, the construction has since been extended to the 1st Quarter of 2018. From how I look at the construction progress, the construction might be finishing right before the end of the quarter or maybe even extended over to the 2nd quarter.
My questions to the town council were the following,
1) Was there any set timing given to the construction company to complete their work?
2) If there is, is there any forfeiture on the part of the construction company?"
In response, the town council wrote that the notice for the dates had always been set at Q1 2018 and the notice was put up in 2017.
True enough, the notice that is beside the lift now shows that the completion date is in the Q1 2018.
Note the current notice is dated 7 July 2017 and therefore, not a new notice.
Unfortunately for the town council, I took a photo of the notice in end August 2017.
The notice that is also dated 7 July 2017, wrote that the period of work is from 3rd Quarter 2017 to 4th Quarter 2017. The notice was changed at the start of the year.
If the town council had replied me, stating that the deadline was extended because of the number of raining days and unexpected delays. I would have left it as such. But clearly with its response, it was not
being honest with the resident. Instead, the TC tried to state that the date on the notice had all along been the same.
It is likely the TC think residents would not know any better and they can do nothing to them.
In an email written back to the town council, it was informed that the date is indeed different and is asked to write back if it chooses to provide a response to the matter.
Not enforcing deadlines for construction companies, unfair for those who tender based on real timeline
For readers who are in the construction line, you can judge if the project is something that takes nine months to complete.
I took notice of the project because the company did not commence work at the worksite for two whole months after the park was boarded up.
The project reminded me of the lift-upgrading project which took more than a year to complete. I felt the time taken for the project is unacceptable, given that the lifts involved in the project are just three stories high. Most of the time, the workers are not at work with the project left half-completed.
How can companies win tender from town councils based on low price, then take their own sweet time to complete the work?
Some might argue that low cost benefit the residents, however, I think it is a fallacy that cost savings will be passed to residents given how the conservancy charge is derived. Furthermore, if the town council does not enforce the deadline, some companies may bid with the mindset that they will only complete the project when they have idle workers while some bid a higher price because they are expecting to start work immediately. This to me is a big reason why Singapore companies cannot progress, it is not the cream of the crop that will win projects but those who know how to game the system.