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Give prompt notice to residents on lift maintenance work

I live in a four-room flat in Pasir Ris. Every Monday to Friday, my 87-year-old mother with dementia and who is wheelchair-bound goes to a daycare centre and on Saturday, to church.

Give prompt notice to residents on lift maintenance work
Kelvin Seah Lee Nguon

I live in a four-room flat in Pasir Ris. Every Monday to Friday, my 87-year-old mother with dementia and who is wheelchair-bound goes to a daycare centre and on Saturday, to church.

We rely on the one lift at the floor where we live to fetch her to and from these places.

Shortly before March 16, notices were placed at my block’s lift lobby to alert us that lift maintenance works would be carried out from March 16 to 30.

So the lift on our floor could not be used and we were diverted to use lifts at another segment of the block that are located two floors down or up from our floor.

My mother must thus navigate four flights of stairs or 32 steps each time she uses the alternative lift.

To ensure her safety, one of us in the family who is able-bodied must accompany her every step of those four flights of stairs. We also have to carry her wheelchair.

On March 16, I called the Pasir-Ris-Punggol Town Council to ask about the maintenance work.

The person on the line said that the property officer in charge would get back to me to explain the situation.

No one did.

Two weeks passed and on March 30, I made a call again to find out what happened and if the maintenance work was completed.

I then discovered that the maintenance work will be extended to April 6 instead of ending on March 30.

This new date had been inserted into the notice at the lobby that same evening after my call.

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.

Fortunately, at around 5pm on March 31, the lift function was restored and the town council emailed me to provide an update on the service resumption.

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 residents’ lives. 

It could also be more understanding and at least show some measure of concern.

It should not let residents who make enquiries wait two weeks without getting back to them or for them to find out the real situation only after they take the trouble to call and follow up on their own.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number

Related topics

town council lift mobility seniors communication lift maintenance

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