A resident who had to struggle for two weeks to help his wheelchair-bound aged mother up and down the block chided the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) for how it handled the scheduled maintenance works on lifts in his block as well as the slow responses to his queries.
Kelvin Seah wrote in a letter published on TODAY Voices on Friday (2 Apr) that he and his family rely on the one lift on the floor he lives in to fetch his 87-year-old mother — who struggles with dementia — to and from a daycare centre as well as church.
He noted that notices were put up at the lift lobby in his block alerting residents to lift maintenance works that would be carried out from 16 to 30 Mar.
As a result, they would have to divert to the lifts at another segment of the block, either two floors up or down.
This also meant that his aged mother would have to navigate four flights of steps each time just to use the alternative lift.
An able-bodied member of the family would have to accompany her every step of the way as well as carry her wheelchair.
Mr Seah went on to say that he had called PRPTC on 16 March to ask about the maintenance works. He was informed that the property officer in charge would get back to him to explain the situation.
Unfortunately, no one got back to him.
On 30 Mar, after the works were supposed to have been completed, Mr Seah called again.
This time, he was informed that the works would be extended to 6 Apr.
“This new date had been inserted into the notice at the lobby that same evening after my call,” he said.
He added, “Feeling frustrated, I decided to email my Member of Parliament, Mr Desmond Tan, to express my concerns about how the communications for this matter had been handled. He replied to say he will look into the matter.”
It was after that phone call around 5 pm the next day that the lifts were restored and Mr Seah was informed by the town council via email with an update on the service resumption.
The resident went on to call out the town council’s management of the entire situation, saying: “While I do not doubt that there are service standards in place for the town council, I strongly believe that it needs a more robust and real-time alert system to ensure that end-users of facilities such as my mother and other residents with mobility issues are kept suitably informed of maintenance work every step of the way.”
“To avoid the ire of residents, the town council could better explain why some works are carried out or delayed given their potential impact on resident’s lives,” he said, adding that the PRPTC could also be more understanding and “show some measure of concern.”