Public Works Subcommittee

Minutes of the proceedings of the Meeting
held on 1 July 1996 at 2:30 p.m. in the Legislative Council Chamber

Members Present :

    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP

Members Absent :

    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon Edward LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Public Officers Attending :

Mr Y Y NG, OBE, JP Director of Drainage Services
Mr K S LEUNG, JP Director of Highways
Mr Kenneth CHAN, JP Director of Architectural Services
Mr Richard YUEN Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (E)
Mr Roger TUPPER General Manger, Vessel traffic services of Marine Department
Mr Eric JOHNSON Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (B)
Mr C Y LAM Assistant Director of Royal Observatory (Forecasting & Warning Services)
Mr K K KWOK, JP Deputy Secretary for Works (Programme & Resources)
Mr K K LAM Deputy Director of Regional Services (Administration)
Mr Raymond CHIU Assistant Director of Regional Services (Planning)
Dr P Y LEUNG Assistant Director of Health (Hygiene)
Miss Annette LEE Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (2)
Mr P S HONG Assistant Director of Education (Allocation & Support)
Mrs Irene CHENG Chief Architect/3, Housing Department
Miss Olivia NIP Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (6)
Mr F P WONG Deputy Government Property Administrator
Dr S P MAK Assistant Director of Health (Health Administration & Planning)

In Attendance :

Mr Canice MAK, JP Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Mr H S KWONG, JP Secretary for Works
Mr M J STOKOE Director of Environmental Protection (Acting)
Mrs Carrie LAM Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)
Mr James HERD Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)
Miss Pauline NG Assistant Secretary General
Mrs Constance LI Clerk to the Public Works Subcommittee
Mr Andy LAU Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Upgrading of projects to Category A



Shenzhen River improvement works - stage II - advance works

On the flooding problems in the northern New Territories, the Director of Drainage Services (DDS) advised that, while regular clearance and maintenance works for existing drainage systems were being carried out, it would be necessary, for longer-term improvement, to implement the Shenzhen River Regulation project to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. Stage I of the improvement works had already commenced in May 1995. The present proposal was to provide adequate space for the Stage II river improvement works by reprovisioning a section of the existing border road and the security fence.

2. In reply to a member, DDS advised that ecological mitigation measures would be taken to compensate for the loss of fishponds resulting from the relocation of the border road. About 24 hectares of fish ponds disturbed during construction would be re-instated, and enhancement works would be carried out for about 15 hectares of fishponds at Mai Po to allow for increased use of fishponds by wildlife.

3. On the future land use of the cleared area, DDS advised that Mai Po and the cleared area was currently designated as conservation area, and there was no plan to re-designate it for industrial purposes.

4. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Hiram’s Highway improvement phase 2 - flyover and junction improvement at junction with Clear Water Bay Road

5. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Mirs Bay vessel traffic centre

6. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Weather Radar Station at Tai Mo Shan

7. In response to a member’s question, the Assistant Director of Royal Observatory advised that weather radar was used to track tropical cyclones and heavy rain. The radar data was particularly useful to the Royal Observatory and the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) in assessing the need to issue warnings on tropical cyclones, rainstorms, floods and landslides. Replying to a member, the Assistant Director of Royal Observatory added that rainfall measurement equipment was also installed at dangerous slopes to provide supplementary information to GEO for landslide warnings.

8. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse

9. Members generally agreed that early completion of the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse (SSSH) would help solve the long-standing environmental problems caused by the existing abattoirs, and would bring about other benefits such as savings upon closure of government abattoirs. The proposal was negatived by members at a meeting in January 1996, as members had doubts on the suitability of the proposed site in view of its proximity to the Sewage Treatment Plant. Noting that the Administration had further deliberated on the matter, the Administration was invited to brief members on the measures taken to address the possible hygiene problem.

10. In response, the Assistant Director of Health advised that the possibility of contamination of meat by air-borne micro-organisms from the nearby sewage treatment plant was rather remote, as these micro-organisms could easily be killed on exposure to sunlight. The Director of Architectural Services (DAS) added that, to minimize any theoretical risks in this respect, additional preventive measures had been included in the design of the new slaughterhouse as recommended by the consultants. These included the installation of a ventilation system to prevent ingress of untreated air to the meat despatch area, and other precautionary measures to ensure that the whole unloading operation in the meat despatch area would be carried out in an enclosed environment. In this connection, DAS also took note of the Chairman’s suggestion that suitable precautionary measures should also be taken for the delivery of meat from the slaughterhouse. In reply to a member, the Deputy Secretary for Works (DS/W) advised that a separate consultancy would not be necessary as the Administration had taken adequate precautionary measures and in-house expertise was available to advise on the subject.

11. On the tendering arrangements of the management contract for the new slaughterhouse, the Deputy Director of Regional Services (DD/RS) advised that the contract would be awarded through open and competitive tendering. The Administration had now received responses from five operators, being both local and overseas firms, which had expressed interest in operating the slaughterhouse. Approval would soon be sought from the Central Tender Board for shortlisting the qualified companies which would than be invited to tender. Replying to a member, DD/RS provided further information on the shortlisting criteria for pre-qualification which included proven experience in operating large-scale slaughterhouses (30%), understanding of the management requirements for SSSH (25%), company structure and organisation (15%), financial standing (15%), and knowledge of the local meat market (15%).

12. Members of the Democratic Party expressed concern that the Administration had not taken similar improvement measures to address the environmental problems caused by Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse (TWS). They considered that the Administration should exert pressure on the operator of TWS to introduce improvements, for example, by imposing such a condition upon the renewal of land grant in 1997 or as one of the licensing conditions for the continued operation of TWS.

13. In response, the Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (DS/PEL) advised that improvements to TWS were outside the context of the present proposal and should be pursued separately. He further advised that TWS was owned and operated by a private company which had already introduced improvements in compliance with the prevailing environmental standards. On further environmental improvements to TWS, the Government would have to negotiate with the operator. To address the concerns of the residents affected by the odour in the delivery of pigs to TWS, arrangements had been made to divert the route of the pig-delivery lorries away from densely populated areas such as Riveria Garden. Moreover, the TWS operator had been asked to repair those broken windows of TWS facing Riveria Gardens and to close these windows during slaughtering hours, so as to reduce the odour nuisance to nearby residents. He assured members that the Administration would continue to examine whether any additional improvements to TWS could be introduced. The Chairman advised that the subject of TWS improvements should be discussed at the relevant Panel.


14. In view of the benefits to be brought about by the project, and the fact that the outstanding issues concerning possible food contamination and tender arrangements had been resolved, members agreed that the SSSH project should proceed without delay. While indicating support to the SSSH project, members of the Democratic Party also urged the Administration to seriously consider improving the environmental nuisance caused by TWS.

15. The item was put to vote and endorsed.



A primary school in Ma Hang Estate, Stanley

16. Noting that a higher construction cost would be incurred for adopting a non-standard design for the proposed school to suit the congested and sloping site conditions, a member commented that the Administration should review its existing planning criteria to provide better sites for schools, and to include construction costs as one of the planning considerations.

17. In response, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (2) advised that the proposed site was reserved some years ago in accordance with the prevailing standards. With the improvements in school provisions over the years, the size of the site was considered not up to present-day standard. However, in view of the shortage of school places in the area and that no suitable alternative site was available, the reserved site had to be used. A non-standard design would enable the best use of the site and provide all the facilities of a standard primary school. DS/PEL added that the selection of school sites was made after consultation with all departments concerned, and there were constraints such as accessibility by public transport and shortage of school places in particular districts.

18. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Boarding section for special school in area 25, Shatin

19. A member asked whether any objection was received from residents in the vicinity to the proposed project. In reply, AD/ED advised that the Administration had consulted Sha Tin District Board which supported the project. The Administration had also separately consulted residents in Man Lai Court, and would take appropriate measures to reprovision the carpark facilities currently provided by the site in question.

20. Responding to a member’s question on the noise impact on the proposed school, DAS advised that a self-protecting layout design would be adopted to orientate all noise sensitive rooms away from the railway line. He undertook to provide further information on the noise impact assessment for the project, before the item was submitted to the Finance Committee for approval.


21. The item was voted on and endorsed. Mr Albert CHAN reserved his position on the proposal pending further information on the noise mitigation measures.



Cheung Sha Wan Government offices building

22. Members noted the following amendments to the English version of PWSC(97-97)31 :

  1. Paragraph 13(g)

    the words “Consultants’ fees for installation of a system” should read “Consultants fees for installation of a telecommunication system”; and

  2. Paragraph 19, third line

    the words “would not limited” should read “would be limited”.

23. Responding to a member’s question on the high unit cost of the proposed building, DAS provided supplementary information on the cost breakdown which was tabled at the meeting. He advised that the unit cost of the proposed building was in fact comparable to that built by the private sector, and that a price variation within the range of 10%-25% was not uncommon having regard to the difference in construction methods, planning standards and calculation methods of the floor area. In the present proposal, additional provisions had been allowed for the special requirements of the clinics and the protection of the Mass Transit Railway adjacent to the site. Moreover, the exclusion of the basement areas for carpark and electrical and mechanical installations from the calculation of the net floor area gave rise to the impression of a high unit cost per square foot for the proposed building.

24. In reply to a member, the Administration confirmed that the proposed site had been put to maximum use, taking into account the maximum permissible height limit for buildings, after the re-location of the Kai Tak Airport in 1998.

25. As regards consultation with the user departments, the Deputy Government Property Administrator (DGPA) advised that they had no objection to the re-location. It was envisaged that the sale of the site vacated by the Canton Road Government Offices would generate a significant premium considerably in excess of the cost of the new building.

26. Several members expressed dissatisfaction that the use of the basement carpark of the building would be restricted to government officials and District Board members, and asked whether the Administration would open up some of the carpark spaces for use by the general public. In this respect, the Deputy Secretary for the Treasury advised that it was already the Government policy to open up carpark spaces in government buildings to the public outside office hours as far as practicable. As to the use of carpark space during office hours, DGPA agreed to review the plan to see whether it would be possible to allocate about 50 carpark space for use by members of the public. The Administration undertook to provide members with a proposal on the allocation of carparks of the building for public use, before the item was put to the Finance Committee for consideration.


27. The item was voted on and endorsed. Mrs Miriam LAU reserved her position on the paper pending further information from the Administration.

28. The Chairman informed members that the last meeting in the current session scheduled for 10 July 1996 would start at 9:00 a.m. in view of the heavy agenda.

29. The meeting ended at 4 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
18 July 1996

Last Updated on 27 November 1998