LegCo Paper No. PWSC 65/96-97
(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, 5 March 1997,
at 10:45 am in the Legislative Council Chamber

Members present :

    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, OBE, FEng, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling

Members absent :

    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Public officers attending :

Mrs Carrie LAM
Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)
Mr Bowen LEUNG, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Secretary for Works
Mr Rob LAW, JP
Director of Environmental Protection
Mr James HERD
Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)
Director of Highways
Mr Johnny CHAN
Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport (5)
Ms Joey LAM
Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Environment) 1
Regional Highways Engineer/Hong Kong, Highways Department
Chief Engineer/Traffic Engineering (Hong Kong), Transport Department
Deputy Director of Drainage Services
Director of Territory Development
Mr LI Shu-ming
Assistant Commissioner for Transport (Technical Services and Planning)
Ms Maureen WONG
Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport (3)
Chief Engineer/Area Traffic Control, Transport Department
Mr Kenneth CHAN, JP
Director of Architectural Services
Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (B)
Ms Vera SO, JP
Assistant Director of Agriculture and Fisheries (Administration & Markets)
Mr Jim LAM
Senior Estate Surveyor/Shamshuipo, Lands Department
Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing (Project Management)
Assistant Director of Education (Allocation & Support)
Chief Architect/1, Housing Department

Clerk in attendance:

Mrs Constance LI
Chief Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Staff in attendance:

Mrs Vivian KAM
Assistant Secretary General 1
Miss Anita SIT
Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Upgrading of projects to Category A



Kennedy Town traffic management measures, stage 3

Noting that the proposed works would only be completed in September 1997, a member asked about the interim traffic management measures to relieve the heavy traffic flows expected in Kennedy Town following the commissioning of the Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) around April 1997. In response, the Chief Engineer/Traffic Engineering (Hong Kong) of Transport Department advised that traffic management measures had already been put in place during the previous stages of the project. The present road capacity in Kennedy Town should be able to cope with the traffic demand during the initial period after commissioning of the WHC. The Director of Highways (DHy) added that the Stage 3 of the road improvement work at Kennedy Town proposed would only commence upon the completion of the Belcher Bay Link Section of Route 7 due to the expected traffic relief in the Kennedy Town area. The Link had now been completed and the works could start subject to funding approval by the Finance Committee. As this would be a simple project constructed by a term contractor, he did not envisage any serious slippage problems.

2. A member expressed concern that the indirect noise mitigation measures for the 1 786 affected residential flats would not be completed until September 1999. He asked if the timetable could be advanced. In response, DHy advised that the proposed timeframe was an estimate based on previous experience which had taken into account the time required for the affected households to submit their applications for indirect mitigation measures. It would be possible to shorten the timeframe if the affected households were to submit their applications at an early stage. As regards the eligibility criteria for noise mitigation measures, DHy advised that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study had been carried out for the project. Based on existing EIA criteria, indirect noise mitigation measures would only be considered for those residential flats which were subject to a noise level above 70 dB(A), and where the noise level generated by the increased traffic volume would exceed 1 dB(A). The EIA study revealed that the dwellings that might be affected by the present project would not be subject to a noise level exceeding the acceptable limit until the year 2011.

3. As regards the feasibility of constructing noise barriers along the roads as an alternative to indirect noise mitigation measures, DHy advised that noise barriers could not effectively mitigate traffic noise for high-rise buildings situated alongside roads.

4. The item was voted on and endorsed.




West Kowloon stormwater drainage improvement

5. While members were generally in support of the proposed improvement works, some members asked about the reasons for frequent flooding in West Kowloon. Some members were of the opinion that reclamation works, instead of urbanisation, was the major reason for floodings in the area. In response, the Secretary for Works advised that the proposed drainage improvement works covered an area larger than the reclamation area. While the West Kowloon reclamation works had, to some extent, affected the hydraulic gradient of the drainage system, this was not the main reason for flooding in the area. The Deputy Director of Drainage Services (DD/DS) further advised that the existing drainage system which was developed some thirty years ago could cope with a one in 10 to 15-year rainstorm provided the drains were not blocked. However, the current standards required the drainage system to be able to cope with a one in 50-year rainstorm and 65 kilometres of the existing storm drains did not meet this standard. Moreover, with increasing urbanisation, a larger percentage of surface land had become impervious to runoff and therefore a higher proportion of storm water currently flows into the existing stormwater drainage system. In addition, siltation of the storm drains also caused floodings in inland areas. To address this problem, preventive clearance and maintenance work would be carried out on storm drains before the start of the rainy season.

6. In response to members’ concern about the traffic impact during the construction stage of the project, DD/DS advised that the trenchless construction method would be used in areas subject for busy traffic flows so as to minimise traffic disruptions. However, this approach would require a longer time for carrying out site investigation work in these areas.

7. On the related issue of illegal connections of sewage drains to stormwater drains, DD/DS advised that about 20% of stormwater drains in the area were found to have illegal connections, and efforts were being made to rectify the situation.

8. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Wan Chai East and North Point sewerage

9. A member asked whether the design capacity could cope with the demand of the forecast population of the area. In reply, DD/DS advised that the design capacity had taken into account the most up to date population forecast (371 000 by the year 2011 for Wan Chai East and North Point) and the needs of the planned reclamation in the area.

10. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Tsing Yi development - remaining works

11. Responding to a member’s comment that the construction cost of the proposed footbridge was more reasonable than those in other similar projects, the Director of Territory Development (DTD) advised that the estimated cost for the footbridges was low because they were of a smaller scale. However, the unit cost of the footbridges, $23,000/m2, was similar to the unit costs of other footbridges which were generally around $20,000/m2.


12. With regard to the policy on the provision of access facilities for the disabled, DTD pointed out that, according to legal advice, the design of footbridges and pedestrian crossings should not contravene the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance. In reply to a member, DTD clarified that while the proposed footbridge B did not provide access ramps, the disabled could make use of other means of access such as the existing elevated covered walkway at Serene Garden to the east and the passageway at the Regional Council Complex to the west. The latter would be completed before footbridge B. On the possibility of providing elevators at the proposed footbridges, DTD advised that the estimated utilisation rate of these footbridges did not meet the minimum requirement for the provision of such facilities. In response to a member, DTD undertook to provide further information in respect of the current policy for the provision of access facilities for the disabled and the timing for providing such facilities when a project was to be commissioned in stages.

13. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Sha Tin New Town closed circuit television system and traffic congestion and route information system

14. Members noted that the LegCo Panel on Transport had discussed the proposed closed circuit television system (CCTV) in Sha Tin and indicated no objection to the proposal. Responding to a member’s questions on how the Area Traffic Control (ATC) and CCTV system could improve traffic flow, the Assistant Commissioner for Transport (AC for T) advised that, with the CCTV system, the ATC centre could monitor the traffic conditions instantaneously and adjust the timings of the computer-controlled traffic signals to optimise road capacity to suit different traffic conditions at different times. With the new system, routine patrols and manual adjustment of traffic lights on site would no longer be necessary. In case of abnormal traffic conditions, the system would also enable early warnings to be issued to ensure smooth traffic flows. Elaborating on the operation of the system, the Chief Engineer/ATC added that the computer-controlled traffic light system could adjust the timing of the ‘green’ signal automatically in response to road conditions in order to reduce the number of times vehicle were required to stop at traffic lights on the main road.

15. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Cheung Sha Wan wholesale market phase 2

16. Several members raised questions on the design of the proposed Cheung Sha Wan wholesale market phase 2 in view of the Director of Audit’s recent comments on the provision of government wholesale food markets. Some members also expressed concern that the design should allow flexibility to cater for subsequent changes in demand. In response, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (PAS/ES) advised that the proposed design had taken into account the Director of Audit’s comments in his recent report (No. 27), and that the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands had also confirmed that the site had been put to optimal use. As regards the possibility of stall operators changing trades in response to market demand, the Director of Architectural Services (D Arch S) advised that certain stalls such as fruit stalls and fresh fish stalls required special support facilities such as access roads for container trucks and piers for landing fish. There could therefore be site constraints should there be a need to increase the number of stalls requiring such facilities. However, there should be no particular problems where stalls were to be switched for use by compatible trades requiring similar facilities.

17. On the adequacy of supporting transport facilities, D Arch S confirmed that during phase 1 of the project, a traffic impact study had been carried out for both phase 1 and phase 2. No particular traffic problems had been envisaged. With regard to the reasons for selecting a waterfront site for the wholesale market, D Arch S advised that a water-front site with suitable pier facilities would facilitate the transportation of fish and poultry and would reduce the demands on land transport in the area. To maximise utilisation of the water frontage, the project would also include mid-stream container-handling facilities on the ground floor of the complex.

18. Responding to a member’s question on tender arrangements, the Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (DS/Tsy) advised that paragraph 9 of the paper outlined the principles of a new approach to tendering endorsed by the Central Tender Board. For the present project, tenderers would be required to provide separate figures for the land premium payable to Government and the construction cost of the phase 2 markets. The arrangements were devised having regard to members’ comments on entrustment arrangements for previous projects. With regard to the tender assessment criteria, DS/Tsy advised that the intention was to give suitable weighting to both the fee proposals and the qualitative aspects but detailed criteria for the latter had yet to be worked out. On the former, she replied in response to a member’s query that the tender evaluation would simply be based on the net revenue to Government, that is, land premium offered less the construction cost. She clarified that the reference in the paper to D Arch S examining the reasonableness of the construction cost only referred to the usual professional vetting of the tender submissions say in terms of the completeness of information, the bills of quantities and the construction cost of the projects.

19. Some members commented that the estimated construction costs and inflation allowance appeared to be on the high side. In response, D Arch S advised that the construction costs were comparable to other similar projects such as the Western Wholesale Market, and the inflation allowance had been calculated in accordance with the established formula.


20. On the timeframe for completion of the project, some members asked whether it would be possible to advance the project or open the market by phases to enable early relocation of the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market and the Cheung Sha Wan poultry market. In response, D Arch S explained that the commencement date for the construction works could not be brought forward in view of the lead time required for tender evaluation and detailed design. Based on the experience of the phase 1 market, the estimated construction time of 25 months for the phase 2 market was considered reasonable. Responding to a member, the Administration undertook to provide the implementation programme showing the timing of different stages of the project.


21. Noting that the Administration had consulted market users and District Boards concerned, some members enquired about the outcome of such consultation. In response, AD/AF advised that neither the traders or District Boards concerned had raised any objections to the project design and the proposed modification works. While some market traders were concerned that the elevated market design might lead to higher operating costs, the problem had largely been resolved with the provision of a direct access road to phases 1 and 2 of the market. Moreover, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) would liaise closely with the contractors during the construction phase to minimise any disruption arising from the works. At the request of a member, the Administration undertook to provide more detailed information on the public consultation in relation to this project.

22. Some members expressed concern about the prevalence of triad and illegal activities at some of the existing wholesale markets and asked about the security arrangements for the new market. In response, D Arch S advised that the Police had not been consulted on this matter thus far, but the Administration could seek the views of the Police and the Independent Commission Against Corruption during the detailed design stage of phase 2. AD/AF added that AFD staff regularly inspected those markets under their management, and would enlist police assistance if any illegal activities were detected.

23. Some members indicated that they had serious reservations about the effectiveness of AFD in managing the wholesale markets in view of the triad influence in these markets. They urged the Administration to seriously consider the feasibility of contracting out the management of wholesale markets with a view to eliminating triad activities in this area. Acknowledging members’ concern about the management of wholesale markets, PAS/ES and the Assistant Director of Agriculture and Fisheries (AD/AF) were of the view that government-managed markets generally posed less problems than private markets such as Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market in this respect. The Administration was confident that AFD could continue to manage effectively the proposed new markets based on commercial principles. As the suggestion to privatise wholesale market management would involve a change of policy, the Administration would have to carefully examine the various implications before taking a view on the issue. Meanwhile, preparatory work had been carried out on the basis that the new market would be managed by AFD.

24. In this respect, some members maintained the view that the Administration should address the management problems of wholesale markets at the initial stage of a project. They were disappointed that the Administration had failed to take a proactive approach to tackle the potential problem of triad infiltration when planning new markets. They therefore urged the Administration to review the policy on market management and report back to the Subcommittee before further deliberation on the proposal. In response, the Administration advised that there was an urgent need to proceed with the construction of the phase 2 market to provide early solution to the long-standing environmental problems of the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market. It would be possible for the Administration to review the market management and security arrangements as a separate exercise for further consideration by the LegCo Panel on Economic Services. As privatisation of wholesale markets would have implications on the staffing levels of AFD, the Administration would also need to consult the staff affected.


25. As the item had been discussed at length, the Chairman advised that the proposal should be put to vote and that any policy issues relating to the security and management of wholesale markets should be followed up by the LegCo Panel on Economic Services. He then put the proposal to vote: four members voted for the proposal, four voted against, and two abstained.

Ayes :

Hon Edward S T HO

Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee

Hon IP Kwok-him

Hon NGAN Kam-chuen

(4 members)

Nos :

Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip

Hon LEE Wing-tat

Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin

Hon TSANG Kin-shing

(4 members)

Abstentions :

Hon Ronald ARCULLI

Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing

(2 members)

26. As there was an equal number of votes in favour of and against the proposal, the Chairman exercised his casting vote in accordance with paragraph 36 of the Public Works Subcommittee Procedures. According to convention, the Chairman voted against the proposal so as to keep the matter open for further discussion.

27. The item was negatived.




First primary school in area 102, Tin Shui Wai


Second primary school in area 102, Tin Shui Wai


Third primary school in area 102, Tin Shui Wai



First secondary school in area 102, Tin Shui Wai


Second secondary school in area 102, Tin Shui Wai

28. As both PWSC(96-97)106 and PWSC(96-97)107 contained proposals for new schools in area 102 of Tin Shui Wai, the Chairman directed that these two papers should be considered together at the meeting.

29. The Administration noted a member’s suggestion on the design of the following primary schools proposed in PWSC(96-97)106 :-

  1. For B199EP, the two basketball courts could be aligned in a north-south orientation rather than the proposed east-west layout;
  2. For B198EP, the roundabout could be re-located to the north of Blocks 13 and 14 of the adjacent housing estate to provide more space for the school playground.


30. Noting that the proposed schools were not scheduled for completion until October-December 2000, some members asked about the possibility of advancing the completion dates so that the schools could commence operation at the beginning of the new school year in September. This would obviate the need to find temporary accommodation for the school staff and students for a brief period. In response, the Chief Architect of Housing Department explained that the completion dates of these schools were scheduled to tie in with the overall public housing programme in area 102, Tin Shui Wai. In view of members’ concern, the Administration agreed to report to the Subcommittee the feasibility of advancing the opening of these schools before the proposals were forwarded to the Finance Committee for approval.


31. As regards access by public transport to these schools, the Assistant Director of Education advised that no major problem was envisaged as the majority of students would come from the public housing estate in area 102 which would be serviced by buses if not by Light Rail Transit (LRT). A member pointed out that according to the existing school zoning system, the proposed schools would also serve housing estates outside area 102 and the LRT was the only means of public transport in those areas. Therefore he urged the Administration to review the transport arrangements for these schools. At the member’s request, the Administration undertook to provide further information on the public transport arrangements for the new schools to the Subcommittee before the proposals were forwarded to the Finance Committee for consideration.

32. The items were voted on and endorsed.

33. The Committee was adjourned at 1:00 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
15 April 1997

Last Updated on 16 August 1999