Taiwan currently has about 150 idle public facilities, known locally as "mosquito halls," which the government is planning to revitalize in two directions, the head of the Public Construction Commission said Monday.
Wu Hong-mo (???) said that the idle or disused properties have been accumulated over the years, and that the number is increasing at 30 per year.
He said his commission is planning to revitalize them by turning them into non-profit nurseries, or to work with local communities to turn them into long-term care centers.
Wu made the remarks at a legislative committee meeting in which legislators expressed concern about news reports that due to poor government policy, there were a total of 109 "mosquito halls" around the island as of the end of September, with a total value of NT$25.37 billion (US$803.9 million).
Among them, the Sinda Deepwater Fishing Harbor (??????) in Kaohsiung is considered the most expensive. It cost an exorbitant NT$7.09 billion to build, but has yet to attract even one big ship since it was inaugurated in 1997.
According to Wu, the number of "mosquito halls" is even more than the reported figure, adding that there are nearly 40 facilities that have yet to be listed, meaning that the total number could be about 150.
He also said that due to the falling birth rate, under-used campuses of elementary and junior high schools could also be released for mixed use as long-term care centers for the elderly and nurseries, as well as for normal schooling.
Under such circumstances, the school facilities would also be renovated, he said, expressing hope that the Ministry of Education will help to push for such a program.
Asked about the criteria for evaluating the success of the revitalization of a public facility, he cited the example of a typical parking lot, saying that use at peak times should be over 70 percent, and at least 40 percent at other times.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel