BUSAN, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — With the heat wave still going strong, municipalities have been installing large public shade structures near pedestrian crossings, but with the supply of large shades lacking, many local governments are still waiting for their orders to be fulfilled.
According to the city government of Busan, the installation of public shade structures near crosswalks in 16 districts has been delayed for up to a month.
A Busan official said, “As the demand for parasols has increased significantly nationwide, it is impossible to get a hold of them even though we have the budget to buy them.”
The large shades have been installed in 240 areas in Busan already, and 90 locations are still awaiting installation. But the official said that he was unsure when the shades would arrive.
The Nam-gu district of Busan made plans in early July to install shades, and placed orders for them later that month.
But the shades were finally installed just recently, over a month after the orders were placed. Due to the delay, the chief of Nam-gu posted an apology online to explain the situation.
In a few localities where the shades were unavailable, temporary measures such as tents and parasols have been installed instead.
The situation stems from the fact that only two or three South Korean companies have the capacity to produce the shades. Since the start of the heat wave, producers have been flooded with shade orders from all corners of the nation.
One shade manufacturer had already exhausted the 600 shades in its stock in May. Another producer created 1,700 shades by late July, which was much more than the 800 that were produced in all of last year.
Employees working at the shade manufacturers have postponed their summer holidays or are working on weekends to meet demand. But because the entire production process is manual, only 40 to 50 shades can be made per company each day.
Moreover, the shades are around 5 meters in width in a full spread, and manufacturers must anchor them in concrete after they deliver them. Thus, placing an order does not automatically guarantee quick delivery and installation.
A shade producer in Okcheon referred to only as Park said that local governments were rushing their orders, but there was nothing else he could do to quicken the process.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)