Workers relieved as one lift starts working at Golden Mile Tower

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Respite for Golden Mile Tower workers who climbed stairs, sent others to buy lunch after all four lifts broke down

Madam Goh Kah Chu is 69 but for the past week, she had been trekking up and down 18 storeys at least four times a day.

The four lifts at Golden Mile Tower, a 22-storey office building where she works at a logistics firm, have been down since last Friday, according to workers The New Paper spoke to.

Yesterday, at around noon, one lift began working again, much to the workers' relief. They had been told a lift would be repaired by this Friday.

Mr Alan Tan, an accountant in his 60s and who works on the 12th storey, said: "I am satisfied now that a lift is working. I just treated it as exercise."

Having a working lift also means some older employees or those with knee problems can go to work again. Companies in the building told TNP they had to give some employees time off work or allowed them to work from home because they could not climb the stairs.

Mr Edward Lim, 62, director of GS Marine Agencies, a shipping company on the 20th storey, said he gave an employee with leg problems a week off. She had tried to tackle the stairs last Friday but decided she was unable to do it again.

"There are quite a number of older people working here," Mr Lim added.

Workers also had to find ways to have lunch at theirworkplace.

Said Mr Lim: "We sent the younger employees down to get takeaway lunch for us."

Accountant S. C. Lee, 66, added that younger employees took turns to buy food for the others. He had been taking the stairs to his office on the 14th storeywith a briefcase that weighs about 5kg.

"For older people like me, it has been quite tough," he said.

Lift manufacturer Kone told TNP it regrets the inconvenience caused by the breakdown.

Mr Audais Jerome, its managing director for Singapore, said the lifts were commissioned by a third-party original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in 1991 and were maintained by that OEMuntil July last year. Kone later took over the maintenance and care of the equipment.

Mr Jerome said there was a need for certain spare parts, such as the printed circuit board, which were not available, and Kone was awarded the modernisation contract.

He added: "The initial plan was to first modernise just one lift to enable people flow without any disturbance.

"Subsequently, it was decided to modernise two lifts at the same time, as agreed with the customer, due to obsolescence and non-usability of the existing spare parts and unexpected failure of the other lifts."

He said it was unfortunate there was an unexpected breakdown that was not possible to be rectified and Kone is treating this with high priority. He added that another lift will be working again by the end of next week.