Occupants of 3,000 new homes in Komdok struggle to get tap water

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Photo of newly built houses in Komdok (Rodong Sinmun – News1)

The North Koreans have moved into the 3,000 newly built houses in Komdok district of South Hamgyong province, an important area for North Korea’s mining production. However, most of the families who have moved into the new houses have difficulty obtaining water.

According to a Daily NK source in the province on Thursday, people have been moving into the new houses since the exteriors were completed last fall, but running water is only available on the first and second floors of apartments and in the one-storied houses, and hardly at that.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unveiled a plan to build housing in the district after visiting the site of recovery efforts after Typhoon Maysak in 2020. North Korea later included plans to build a complex of housing in Komdok in the five-year plan for state economic development. adopted at the VIII Party Congress.

At the time, North Korea presented a factory to build a total of 25,000 housing units in Komdok – 5,000 units per year – to improve the lives of local residents by solving housing shortages and rebuilding the city. provincial. Thus, the authorities built around 3,000 new homes between last fall and this spring.

However, the source said residents of the new houses were struggling to get water due to sloppy construction.

In fact, the source said that after receiving a deluge of calls from local residents, the logistics department of Komdok Mining Enterprise and the party committee informed the construction headquarters, which is currently building one or two communal taps in each village in the district.

The source said earlier this year residents of new homes complained that apartments on the fourth floor or above were not getting water, possibly due to low water pressure. Construction officials replied that it could be because the pipes were frozen as it was winter and residents would have to draw their water from lower floors, promising to fix the pipes in the spring.

After receiving a flood of complaints and petitions from Komdok residents who had been without water for more than three months, the South Hamgyong Province Party Committee began searching for those to blame for the sloppy construction. However, the construction headquarters in charge of building the houses counters that the problem is not botched construction, but a need for more pumping stations.

The source said builders were unable to install enough pumping stations for the number of households as they were only focused on completing homes. Chronic shortages of supplies, support and equipment meant pumping stations were also underpowered, another reason for water shortages.

He said power transmission equipment such as transformers and utility poles were washed away by floods after the typhoon and builders were unable to restore the power grid to how it once was. . The source further said that the pump stations need a lot of voltage to send water to the upper floors, but they do not receive constant voltage, which leads to water shortages.

However, the construction headquarters said it was well aware of the difficulty for residents on the sixth floor to draw water. He said that even though the designs were made to state standards, they couldn’t take responsibility for the problems until the state guaranteed the proper equipment and supplies. The source said people think this means shoddy construction will continue to be an issue in future projects.

Meanwhile, people are complaining that while they welcome the state’s plan to build 25,000 new homes over five years, the occupants of the new apartments are suffering from water problems because they are being moved into homes. incomplete. Moreover, people say that builders also waste their time installing communal taps repeatedly.

The party’s provincial committee acts to quell local discontent, deliberating on a plan to supplement insufficient pumping stations by building an outdoor solar-powered pumping station.

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