Public Works Subcommittee

Record of Meeting held on 15 March 1996 at 10:45 am
in the Legislative Council Chamber


    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling


    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon Edward LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

In attendance for specific items:

Mr Rob LAW, JP Director of Environmental Protection
Mr Benny WONG Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Facilities Development Group)
Mr T Y CHEUNG Deputy Director of Territory Development
Mr H S TSE Deputy Director of Drainage Services
Mr S H PAU, JP Deputy Director of Architectural Services
Miss Annette LEE Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower
Mr Anthony TONG Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support)

In attendance:

Mr B P W LEUNG, JP Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Mr Keith K K KWOK, JP Deputy Secretary for Works (Programme and Resources)
Mr Kevin HO, JP Deputy Secretary for the Treasury
Mr Johnny CHAN Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)(acting)
Miss Pauline NG Assistant Secretary General
Mrs Constance LI Clerk to the Public Works Subcommittee
Mr Andy LAU Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Revision in scope/approved estimate of project in Category A



Island West Refuse Transfer Station

In response to Members’ questions, the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) advised that the Department regularly reviewed its office accommodation requirements and considered it feasible to utilise the space available in the Island West Refuse Station (IWRTS) site to meet the accommodation needs of the Department. This was made possible by the innovative cavern design of the successful tenderer of the IWRTS project which resulted in major savings in space and capital costs. Consequently, additional office space could be provided on the IWRTS site. The proposal would improve the overall efficiency in terms of site utilization and reduction of leased office accommodation.

2. This item was voted on and endorsed.

Upgrading of projects to Category A



Reclamation and servicing of Tuen Mun Area 38 for special industries

3. In response to Members, the Deputy Director of Territory Development (DDTD) advised that the proposed widening of Lung Mun Road was intended to cope with the anticipated increase of traffic generated by the planned development of the River Trade Terminal (RTT) and the Special Industries Area (SIA). The improvement works would also provide a direct transport link to the RTT and SIA. As regards the traffic increase arising from the RTT, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) advised that the proposed improvements could accommodate the traffic generated by the proposed RTT as the majority of cargo movements would be by means of waterborne transport.

4. Members expressed concern about the possible increase in traffic brought about by the project and considered that noise barriers should be provided along Wong Chu Road to minimize traffic nuisance caused to the nearby residents. In reply, DDTD advised that the Administration had completed the traffic impact assessment for the Tuen Mun area, and would implement proposals such as improvements to the junction of Tuen Mun Road and Wong Chu Road and construction of a Foothills Bypass linking Area 45 with Lung Mun Road, to tie in with the development of Tuen Mun Area 38. He said that noise mitigation measures would be identified and provided in accordance with Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. To ensure that the construction works would not bring about unacceptable environmental impacts on nearby residents, the Administration would carry out environmental monitoring and audit during implementation of the proposed works.

5. On the question of road reserve to cater for possible future traffic demand arising from proposed road linking the Chinese border and Tuen Mun, SPEL advised that the Administration was still examining the proposal and one option might be a new transport network to cope with the increase in traffic flow.

6. This item was voted on and endorsed.




Outlying Islands sewerage, stage 1, phase 1

7. In reply to a Member, the Deputy Director of Drainage Services (DDDS) advised that the project estimates for the construction of new and improved sewage treatment facilities at Ngong Ping and Siu Ho Wan on Lantau Island would be in the region of $350 million whereas those for the Peng Chau, Yung Shue Wan, Cheung Chau and Mui Wo would be about $70 million.

8. In response to a Member’s concern about the possible conflict of interest situation arising from awarding a single consultancy contract to carry out both the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the detailed design of the improvement works, DDDS advised that the EIA and the detailed design work would be carried out by two separate professional teams of the consultant for greater cost-effectiveness and to minimise the interface problems. In fact, an environmental review had been carried out earlier, and the scope of the proposed EIA was already clearly defined for the detailed design of the improvement works. Moreover, the work of the consultant would be closely monitored by the Department, and the EIA proposals would also be examined and endorsed by the Advisory Council on the Environment.

9. On the need to incur $1.5 million to engage consultants for preparation of tender documents and assessment of tenders, DDTD advised that it would be necessary to include in the tender documents all essential details and requirements identified by the consultants at the detailed design stage in order to facilitate the subsequent selection of contractors. As the Department’s resources were already engaged in designing the sewage improvement works at Peng Chau, Yung Shue Wan, Cheung Chau and Mui Wo, it would not be possible for the Department to take on the extra work. It was therefore necessary to engage consultants for tender preparation and assessments.

10. This item was voted on and endorsed.




Main drainage channels and poldered village protection schemes for San Tin, North West New Territories

11. In response to a Member’s question on the rationale for not carrying out an EIA study for the proposed project, DEP explained the present practice and the differences between an EIA study and an environmental review. He advised that all public works projects were now subject to the satisfactory completion of an environmental review commissioned by the Environment Protection Department. In the course of the review, the Department would identify the associated environmental problems and proposed appropriate mitigation measures on environmental improvements. Where routine environmental improvements could be carried out in accordance with the well-established guidelines as in the present proposal, it would not be necessary to carry out a major in-depth EIA study after the environmental review.

1. This item was voted on and endorsed.



Tai O development, package 4, stage I, engineering works

13. This item was voted on and endorsed.



Engineering infrastructure on Hung Hom Bay reclamation

14. In response to a Member’s enquiry on whether adequate parking spaces would be provided on the reclaimed land to meet the shortfall in the area, SPEL advised that private developers would be required to provide sufficient parking spaces appropriate to the type of land use in accordance with the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. The actual number of parking spaces on Hung Hom Bay Reclamation would, nevertheless, depend on the conditions of land grants and the actual scale of the developments. At the request of the Member, SPEL agreed to provide an estimation on the number of parking spaces to be provided on Hung Hom Bay Reclamation.


15. As to whether the traffic condition in the area would deteriorate as a result of the operation of the proposed KCRC freight-yard extension, SPEL advised that the proposed development would help provide back-up areas for improving the traffic circulation outside the freight-yard station rather than worsening the traffic condition.

16. A Member queried why the Administration did not put up the proposal earlier for Members’ consideration since the reclamation was completed in December 1994. He was concerned that any slippage of the infrastructural development on the site would have an impact on the imminent land disposal programme and the Private Sector Participation Scheme housing development which was scheduled for completion in March 1998. As delays in the project might lead to claims for compensation from the developer(s), he asked in what way the Administration could ensure that the projects would be completed on time.

17. In response, SPEL advised that the present timetable was in line with the provisions of the Town Planning Ordinance, and the apparent delay was caused by the procedures to deal with objections to the proposed construction of Hung Hom Bypass and Princess Margaret Road Link which was gazetted together with the present proposal under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance. DDTD added that the proposed project has been incorporated in the contract for the construction works for the Hung Hom Bypass and Princess Margaret Road Link to minimize interface problems. The Administration would closely monitor the progress of the works which would be completed in phases to cater for the private development and the freight-yard station.

18. Referring to the direct and indirect technical remedies to reduce the noise level for affected dwellings, a Member urged the Administration to conduct accurate assessments on all affected dwellings in order to avoid disputes over the eligibility for noise mitigation measures as in the case of the Western Harbour Crossing. DDTD agreed to relay the Member’s concern to the departments concerned. As regards whether noise barriers should be provided instead of low-noise road surface, DDTD advised that some residents might find noise barriers visually unacceptable. In the present project, low-noise road surface was considered more effective having regard to the road conditions.

19. Responding to a Member’s question, DDTD advised that installation of ventilation system inside vehicular underpass was based on a number of considerations such as the emission level of carbon monoxide and the length and design of the underpass. A ventilation system would be installed in the proposed underpass for use during traffic congestion.

20. On the proposed resumption of about 3 330 square metres of paved private land in Whampoa Garden for the proposed road works, DDTD anticipated that there would not be any objection from the land owner who was required to surrender the land in accordance with the lease conditions.

21. This item was voted on and endorsed.




Primary school in Ko Chiu Road, Kwun Tong

22. In response to a Member’s question about the basis of calculating the standard costs for primary and secondary schools, the Deputy Director of Architectural Services (DDAS) advised that standard costs of primary schools had all along been based on December 1994 prices, while an updated figure of January 1996 prices taking into account of a new design was adopted for secondary schools. As regards the site formation costs, DDAS confirmed that this was not normally required for school projects and was therefore excluded from the standard costs. In the present proposal, a slightly higher cost was required for drainage and external works due to the diversion of an existing watermain and drainage nullah. DDAS further advised that the variation in costs as compared to the previous proposal on 7 December 1995 was caused by adjustments in the inflation allowance.

23. In reply to a Member, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower advised that it was government policy to provide whole-day primary schools as far as possible subject to availability of resources and other considerations such as supply and demand of school places in the area.

24. As regards the provision of $2 million in 1999-2000, DDAS advised that although most payments would be settled in 1998-99 on completion of the school project, a small provision would still be required to meet the balance on expiry of the maintenance period and after rectification of all outstanding defects.

25. This item was voted on and endorsed.



Secondary school in area 5B, Tuen Mun

26. A Member noted that an entrustment cost of $5.2 million had been included in the present project estimates to take into account of the private developer’s on-cost for financial charges, professional fees, project management fees and site supervision. He suggested that the on-costs for government staff should also be included in the standard costs for school projects in order to facilitate cost comparisons. DDAS advised that it was not a usual practice to incorporate staff on-cost in project estimates but agreed to provide such supplementary information in future if necessary.


27. On the criteria for providing air-conditioning facilities in schools, DDAS advised that consideration would be given to provide such facilities to both government and subvented schools if the level of traffic noise exceeded the limit prescribed in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.

28. As regards the use of the surplus site area of 466 square meters, the Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support) advised that the surplus area had been assigned for temporary use for the school since no alternative use had been identified. He added that once other suitable use was found, the Lands Department would allocate it to the relevant user. DDAS took note of a Member’s suggestion that the site boundary line could be revised to maximise site utilisation.


29. This item was voted on and endorsed.

30. The Committee was adjourned at 11.55 a.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
11 April 1996

Last Updated on 27 November 1998