Friday, February 12, 2010

CCTV Update

The state council announced Wednesday that 71 people have been held responsible for the CCTV building fire exactly a year ago that left one firefighter dead, eight injured, and led to direct financial losses of 163.83 million RMB ($23.99 million).
The building was supposed to house the Mandarin Oriental hotel, which was almost ready to open at the time.
Of the 71 responsible, 44 will face legal prosecution, and the remaining 27 will suffer party and administrative disciplinary measures. No names and further details were released.
It finally took a year to figure out who dunnit and was it really a group of 71 people? Or are we trying to spread the blame?
The intrigue does not end there.
A few weeks ago an investigation by the State Council concluded the outer shell is still pretty much in tact and so a renovation would give the building a new lease on life literally.

However, many people including Ole Schereen, one of the main architects of the CCTV project say that the burnt out hotel is not structurally sound and should be pulled down.

Nevertheless, some 1,000 workers have been hired to renovate the building, by knocking down the exterior walls. 
It is expected that the building will be renovated in less than two years at which time CCTV staff will finally move into their new but somewhat old building that should have been finished for the 2008 Olympics.
Knocking down exterior walls sounds like extensive renovations. And since it's practically completely burnt out, why not knock it down anyway? Renovations are only going to be more expensive and have a higher chance of being structurally unsafe as Schereen has said. 
Perhaps the government wants to save face and keep the building, but it's only going to make the situation worse.
Live and learn.

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