Opinion / From the Press

Building systems to prolong structures’ lives

By Li Yang ( Updated: 2014-04-09 08:38

The Chinese government should establish stricter accountability and supervisory systems to guarantee construction quality and the public’s safety, says an editorial in China Business News. Excerpts:

A 20-year-old apartment building collapsed in Fenghua, Zhejiang province, burying the residents alive.

Although the local government is still investigating the cause of the accident, it claimed recently it is difficult to find the responsible party because the responsible construction company had broken up into four separate companies in the 1990s.

In such a serious accident, the government should make its investigation transparent to the public.

There were many such buildings constructed in China in the 1980s and 1990s, when the construction-quality inspection and supervision systems were not fully developed.

A thorough investigation of the accident should warn the government of the hidden dangers in apartment buildings. It will be a costly project to renovate or update all these buildings.

But the government must initiate the project for the public’s safety as soon as possible.

Judicial departments and the government need to track down those parties, including government officials themselves, who are responsible for the accident.

The central government should also establish and implement more strict systems nationwide to ensure no such accidents happen again.

First, there must be a lifelong accountability system for all construction companies, architectural designers and project supervisors.

Second, the government should register safety files for all construction projects. The government and construction companies can consolidate the buildings when necessary. And residences should go through strict inspection before their decoration and innovation projects to guarantee no individual actions threaten the public.

Third, there should be a commercial insurance system for the buildings, paid by the construction companies, government and residents together.

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