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PPP mulls parliamentary inspection into shoddy construction of parking lots

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 2, 2023 - 11:42

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The ruling People Power Party holds an emergency pres conference on Wednesday, on cases of shoddy construction of underground parking lots at apartment complexes. (Yonhap) The ruling People Power Party holds an emergency pres conference on Wednesday, on cases of shoddy construction of underground parking lots at apartment complexes. (Yonhap)

The ruling People Power Party said Wednesday it is considering a parliamentary inspection into what led to the shoddy construction of underground parking lots at apartment complexes built under contracts with the state-run housing developer.

A land ministry inspection has found that not enough reinforcing rods were put into columns supporting underground parking lots at at least 15 Korea Land and Housing Corp. apartment complexes, even though the strength of such columns is significant in the flat plate slab construction system.

Critics say the builder could have tried to cut costs and speed up construction.

"An internal task force will be launched first for an investigation to find the truth and further consider pushing forward with the parliamentary inspection when needed," said Rep. Yun Jae-ok, a People Power Party floor leader, during a press conference.

On Tuesday, President Yoon Suk Yeol pledged to eradicate "cartels" with vested interests in the construction industry, citing them as a reason behind the shoddy construction practices revealed in the parking lots.

Yoon also clarified that all the problematic apartment complexes were designed and constructed before the current administration took office.

According to the ministry's findings, 15 public apartment complexes built after 2017 lack reinforcing bars, as it is judged to have become a common construction method since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017.

"Serious flaws in the management policies of the Moon Jae-in government's housing construction cannot but be assumed," Yun said, mentioning another high-profile corruption scandal involving LH.

A number of former and incumbent LH employees were indicted last year on suspicion of using inside information for speculative property purchases.

"The government is conducting a full investigation, and an audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection is probably expected," Yun said, adding that the decision-makers should be further investigated in accordance with the audit result.

Later in the day, the BAI said it is reviewing an audit of LH after a civic organization filed a complaint.

The Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice has alleged favoritism between LH and other construction design and supervising firms that have recruited former LH ranking officials.

The audit will be carried out separately from the ongoing government investigation into apartment complexes built under contracts with LH and other private complexes. (Yonhap)