By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Preliminary plans for the Executive Yuan’s infrastructure project are estimated to cost nearly NT$100 billion （US$3.26 billion） and address eight key infrastructure issues as well as water and drought prevention, the National Development Council （NDC） said.
National Development Council Deputy Minister Tseng Shu-cheng （曾旭正） said the project revolves around one key concept — that the public will see all infrastructure as useful.
The project is aimed at addressing issues that have long triggered public complaints, such as a lack of parking; improving road quality; developing urban functions in small to medium-sized cities; establishing local industrial parks; promoting local cultural specialties; overhauling schools to create multi-functional establishments; merging public service establishments; and fostering recreational and sports-friendly environments, Tseng said.
Central government agencies would establish evaluation rules, while cities and counties are to propose projects based on their needs.
The project seeks to encourage friendly competition, Tseng said, citing parking as one example.
If a city submits a detailed plan on how to crack down on illegal parking near a new parking lot, the plan might stand a better chance of winning funding, he said.
Details such as the amount of funding local governments are willing to shoulder are all aspects that will be evaluated, but the key to proposals’ success will be their viability, Tseng said.
As for drought and flood prevention, the Water Resources Agency is planning to emphasize projects in the center and south of the nation, with the initial goal of preventing flooding, he said.
It also plans to increase the number of parks and greenways near urban areas, he said.
In other news, the Executive Yuan has promised to assess Yilan County’s application for funding of a direct railway between Taipei and Yilan as part of a plan to reduce highway traffic volumes and reduce the travel time for train passengers.