Ombudsman turns heat on officials for lethargy on dripping aircons

Local | 17 Apr 2018 3:05 pm

The Ombudsman has accused the government of having a lax approach to handling the problem of dripping air conditioners, saying officials drag their feet in taking punitive action against offenders.

Leaking air conditioners become the bane of Hong Kong's people lives during summer time, as water drips from exhaust valves due to faulty thermostats onto many streets. Thousands of complaints are registered over this, according to media reports.

According to the law, a leaky air conditioner can lead to a daily fine of HK$200 and a maximum penalty of HK$10,000. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department even runs a 24-hour hotline for complaints related to water dripping from air conditioners, RTHK reports.

But the Ombudsman, Connie Lau, said FEHD officials fail to follow up on the cases once the weather turns cooler and the users switch off their air conditioners. 

But Lau acknowledged that building owners also need to play a part in solving the problem. She said they should install communal drainage pipes to collect water from air conditioners to prevent spills onto the streets. 

The Ombudsman said she had recommended that the Buildings Department encourage owners to do so.

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