LegCo Paper No. PWSC 24/96-97
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB1/F/2/2

Public Works Subcommittee

Minutes of the proceedings of the meeting
held on Wednesday, 4 December 1996
at 10:45 am 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 Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Members absent :

    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung

Public officers attending :

Mr Bowen LEUNG, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Secretary for Works
Mr Rob LAW, JP
Director of Environmental Protection
Mrs Carrie LAM
Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)
Mr James HERD
Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)
Director of Territory Development
Project Manager, New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office
Director of Highways
Director of Drainage Services
Director of Water Supplies
Mr Frank LOONG
Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing (Project Management)
Mr Kenneth CHAN, JP
Director of Architectural Services
Mr Ros LAM
Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (2)
Mr CHENG Man-yiu
Principal Education Officer (Allocation and Support), Education Department

Clerk in attendance:

Mrs Constance LI
Chief Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Staff in attendance:

Miss Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1
Mr Andy LAU
Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)


Revision in scope/approved estimate of projects in Category A




West Kowloon reclamation - remaining hinterland drainage works and sewerage network package I

Some members expressed concern that inaccurate records of underground utility installations in the district had resulted in additional public expenses and delays in the hinterland drainage project. In response, the Director of Territory Development (DTD) advised that prior to the commencement of works in 1993, the Administration had made every effort to locate available records from various sources including those from the utility companies. However, as the works were located in an old district where many of the underground utility installations were uncharted, it was only possible to work on the complicated diversion plan when the entangled utilities were exposed upon road openings. With regard to the progress of the project, DTD advised that, with the approval of additional funds and the introduction of programme recovery measures, the project could be completed within the revised timeframe since most part of the works were already in an advanced stage.

2. The item was voted on and endorsed.


Upgrading of projects to Category A




Public transport interchange at the Tai Kok Tsui Airport Railway Station

3. Responding to a member, the Director of Highways (DHy) advised that the design of the ventilation system at the public transport interchange (PTI) was in compliance with the prevailing standard set by the Environmental Protection Department with regard to the maximum capacity of transport routes serviced by the PTI. Concerning the poor air quality in some existing PTIs, DHy advised that the problem might be attributed to maintenance rather than the design of the ventilation system. The Chairman remarked that better circulation of natural air at PTIs and proper maintenance of the ventilation system would be important in maintaining an acceptable environment for the travelling public.


4. With regard to the need for lift facilities at taxi stands to facilitate passengers travelling with luggage, DHy advised that this would not be necessary as the Airport Express Line of the Airport Railway would not call at the Tai Kok Tsui Airport Railway Station. In response to a member, he undertook to provide further information on the feasibility of adopting a double-filing system to reduce the loading time for taxi passengers.

5. Replying to a member, the DHy clarified that there were two more PTIs in the area, and there would be sufficient bays for public buses.

6. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Flyover across Castle Peak Road at Sha Tsui Road

7. A member expressed dissatisfaction that the Administration had taken such a long time to implement the project notwithstanding that a transport study in 1983 had already identified the need for a two-way flyover in the area. He noted that there had been objections to the proposal, and asked whether the proposed noise mitigation measures could effectively reduce the noise nuisance to the affected dwellings. In reply, DTD advised that a provision of $29.5 million had been included in the proposal to provide for remedies including low noise road surface, road covers, roadside noise barriers, window insulation and air-conditioners. These measures were applied according to the noise level of the affected areas and their effectiveness in bringing down the noise level to within the limits laid down in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. The Director of Environmental Protection added that the noise mitigation measures were proposed after careful evaluation and consultation with the Tsuen Wan District Board and government departments concerned.


8. Noting that there was an uncovered section in between two sections of road covers in Tsuen King Circuit, some members asked whether it would be possible to extend the road cover to fill the gap. In reply, DTD advised that the uncovered section was a turning and sightline would be obstructed if the road cover was extended to this section. There were also other considerations such as fire prevention and ventilation if the road cover was to be lengthened to form a road tunnel. In this connection, some members considered it more effective to reduce noise nuisance at source and requested the Administration to consider other options including the feasibility of a semi-open road cover design. The Administration undertook to examine the feasibility of other road cover designs and provide further information to members before the item was put to the Finance Committee.

9. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Tolo Harbour sewerage of unsewered areas

10. In response to a member, the Director of Drainage Services (DDS) advised that the proposed project was part of an overall programme on long-term water pollution abatement works in unsewered areas of Tolo Harbour Catchment. The works were carried out in phases starting from 1991.

11. As regards whether the proposed sewerage capacity could meet the future demand of the areas, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) advised that the Administration had taken into account all available information and the projected number of small houses for the next ten years in the area. The proposed capacity should be able to meet the foreseeable demands in the coming ten years.

12. Replying to a member, DDS confirmed that records of underground utilities in rural areas did not present a problem because there were less underground installations as compared to urban areas.

13. On the resultant increase of sewage charges, DDS advised that the charge was only to recover the recurrent expenditure for the maintenance and operation of the sewerage facilities.

14. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Additional treatment and water transfer facilities for the metropolitan area and north eastern New Territories - stage I, construction of Tai Po treatment works and pumping station


15. On the need to engage consultants for the project, the Director of Water Supplies (DWS) advised that the department currently had no spare capacity to undertake the detailed design and supervision of works for this project and therefore it was necessary to employ consultants to carry out these tasks. Supervision of the works would be carried out by the resident site staff employed by the consultant who would be ultimately responsible to the Government for the whole project. The arrangement was a normal practice which had been adopted for similar projects. At the request of a member, DWS undertook to provide further information on the requirements for resident site staff and the reasons for using a multiplying factor of 2.1 in the calculation of consultant fees shown in the Enclosure to the paper.

16. With regard to the "fung shui’ problems in the course of land acquisition, DWS confirmed that the problem had largely been resolved following a series of consultation meetings with Tai Po District Board and Tai Po Rural Committee. The Administration would continue discussion with the concerned parties on the removal of two remaining graves affected by the project. He did not envisage any major problem in this respect.

17. In view of the fact that electricity would form a substantial part of the recurrent costs of the water treatment facilities, a member suggested the Administration explore the possibility of other cost-saving devices such as installing a hydroelectric power station.

18. A member queried whether it was premature to start this project as the projected population of the territory was still under consideration in the context of the Territorial Development Strategy Review. He was concerned that subsequent changes to the facilities could pose a problem if the designed capacity could not cater for the revised demand in the affected regions. He was of the view that the project should be considered as a whole when the population projection was finalised to avoid any subsequent system upgrading or interface problems.


19. In response, DWS advised that the capacity of the proposed system could be expanded in stages to cope with future increase in demand. The present proposal covered only Stage I comprising mainly the construction of the first stage of the treatment works and the treated water pumping station which would be initially equipped with pumpsets to cater for about one quarter of the ultimate supply capacity of the system. Stage I of the project was targeted for completion by the year 2000, in anticipation of the increased demand for treated water resulting from the approved housing development projects in north-eastern New Territories. With the completion of the Tai Po water treatment facilities in year 2000, the Shatin group of treatment works would be able to cater for an estimated population of 3 084 000 in the metropolitan area and north-eastern New Territories. SPEL added that any revisions to the projected population beyond the year 2000 as identified in the Territorial Development Strategy Review could be accommodated in the subsequent stages of the project. The Deputy Secretary for the Treasury also assured members that the proposed scale of the project was appropriate and cost-effective having regard to the anticipated demand in 2000. In response to members’ concern, the Administration agreed to provide further information on the maximum capacity of the system and the target population to be served by the Tai Po water treatment facilities, before the item was put to the Finance Committee for consideration.

20. The item was voted on and endorsed. On behalf of the Democratic Party, Mr Albert CHAN Wai Yip expressed reservations on the paper.




One secondary school in area 3, Tai Po

21. In reply to a member, the Director of Architectural Services confirmed that the provision of double-glazed windows which had a serviceable life span of three to five years was cost-effective measure in reducing noise level to an acceptable standard.

22. The item was voted on and endorsed.

23. The Committee was adjourned at 12 noon.

Legislative Council Secretariat
9 January 1997

Last Updated on 16 August 1999