Faulty lifts leave Bukit Batok residents fuming
Lifts installed by Sigma Elevator at Bukit Batok's Skyline II estate have broken down about seven times between May and this month
She moved into her new five-room HDB flat on the 35th storey of Block 296C at Skyline II in Bukit Batok last Saturday.
But each time Madam Soon, who is six months pregnant with twins, wants to use the lifts, she wonders if they will work.
The four lifts in the 38-storey flat have broken down about seven times between May and this month. It has left residents disappointed and frustrated.
Lifts A and B serve the ground floor and the 21st to 38th storeys. Lifts C and D serve the ground floor to the 20th storey.
Whenever Madam Soon, 33, a researcher, takes the lift, she will message her family group chat as a precaution in case she gets trapped inside.
She has seen two lift breakdowns.
She told The New Paper on Wednesday that she couldn't go to work the day before because the two lifts were not working.
She said: "It's dangerous for me to walk down the stairs (due to my pregnancy)."
The lifts at Skyline II are from Sigma Elevator, which had been banned from tendering for new HDB projects since October 2015 due to poor performance and installation delays.
Said Madam Soon: "HDB has banned Sigma lifts and we're unlucky they managed to get the tender for this project before that. What if the lift breaks down when I'm inside and I go into labour?"
Bukit Batok Member of Parliament, Mr Murali Pillai, told TNP he shares the residents' concerns and will be monitoring the situation closely.
He said lift A was shut for maintenance on Monday night and on Tuesday morning. Lift B broke down resulting in both lifts being unusable.
He said: "I have asked HDB to consider shortening the maintenance cycle time to reduce the chances of both lifts not being in operation."
In February, TNP reported on the faulty Sigma lifts at the next block, Block 296B. Residents told TNP the issues have been resolved.
When TNP visited Block 296C at 2pm on Wednesday, lift A was closed for maintenance.
The Jurong-Clementi Town Council put up a notice saying Sigma was carrying out lift parts replacement and maintenance works.
Mr Mohammad Hanif, 29, an administrative officer, who moved into his four-room flat on the third storey in March, said: "It's likely more lift problems will continue to crop up in the future. We paid so much and waited for five years to get our keys. I'm disappointed in the quality we're getting."
A town council spokesman told TNP: "The lift company has been prompt in tackling the lift faults and putting the lifts back in operation as soon as they can so that it will not inconvenience the residents.
"We assure the residents that efforts are being made to improve the performance of the lifts."
An HDB spokesman said that to enhance lift reliability, they instructed Sigma to carry out lift servicing twice a month.
The spokesman said: "Servicing requires a temporary shutdown of the lifts and this may have created the impression that the lifts are faulty.
"Due to the intense renovation activities in the block, HDB has deployed a lift attendant and a security guard in the precinct to reduce the instances of lift misuse."
A Sigma Singapore spokesman said the company has been working closely with HDB and the town council on the matter.
He said: "We will continue to work closely with them to monitor and enhance the equipment performance."