Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. PWSC 44
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)

Ref : CB1/F/2/2

Public Works Subcommittee of the
Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting held at the
Legislative Council Chamber on Thursday,
13 November 1997, at 4:30 pm

Members present:

Hon HO Sai-chu, JP (Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon KAN Fook-yee

Members absent :

Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP

Public officers attending :

Miss Emma LAU
Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)

Mr Bowen LEUNG, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Deputy Secretary for Works (Works Policy)

Mr Rob LAW, JP
Director of Environmental Protection

Mr James HERD
Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)

Chief Estate Surveyor/Acquisition of Lands Department

Mr Bernard LAM, JP
Director of Civil Engineering

Director of Highways

Director of Territory Development

Director of Water Supplies

Director of Architectural Services

Deputy Government Property Administrator

Director of Drainage Services

Mr Benny WONG
Assistant Director of Environmental Protection (Waste Facilities)

Chief Engineer (RPIS), Home Affairs Department

Mr Jack CHAN
Deputy Secretary-General of University Grants Committee 1

Senior Executive Manager (Capital Works), Hospital Authority

Ms Jennifer CHAN
Principal Assistant Secretary for Health and Welfare (M2)

Ms Michelle LI
Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (1)

Ms Ellen CHOY
Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (2)

Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (5)

Assistant Director of Education (Schools)

Mrs LEUNG CHAN Yan-yan
Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Subventions)

Mr Kingsley FUNG
Assistant Director of Information Technology Services (Management Consultancy Services)

Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing (Project Management)

Mr Richard YUEN
Deputy Secretary for Economic Services (3)

Miss Ophelia WONG
Chief Town Planner/Sub-Regional, Planning Department

Mrs Sarah KWOK
Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (B)

Mr William HUI
Civil Secretary, Correctional Services Department

Assistant Director of Education (Allocation & Support)

Mr Raymond TANG
Assistant Director of Marine (Planning & Services)

Clerk in attendance:

Mrs Vivian KAM
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)5

Staff in attendance:

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Mr Kenneth KWOK
Senior Assistant Secretary (1)8

Capital Works Reserve Fund

PWSC(97-98)62New itemBlock allocations for Heads 701 to 711 under the Capital Works Reserve Fund

The item was voted on and endorsed.

Upgrading of projects to Category A


PWSC(97-98)702108APNorthshore Lantau Port development feasibility study and site investigations

2.A member enquired whether, in developing Northern Lantau, consideration would also be given to related developments in Southern Lantau and the development of transport facilities between the two areas. The Director of Civil Engineering (DCE) confirmed that traffic would be an aspect of the feasibility study. The Chief Town Planner of Planning Department added that a review on the development strategy of South-western New Territories was currently underway and due to be completed in 1998. The review would provide a broad framework for the development of many places throughout Lantau, including the southern and the northern parts.

3.In response to a member on whether public money was being properly spent in the series of consultancy studies conducted in the area, the Deputy Secretary for Economic Services (3) and DCE advised that the scope of the studies were different. An initial study was first undertaken to provide a general concept on the development of the area. This had to be followed by a detailed feasibility study which, apart from studying the port facilities, would also examine opportunities for accommodating non-port facilities and the scope for low density housing and tourist attractions, as identified in the Territorial Development Strategy Review and the report on Visitor and Tourism for Hong Kong published in 1996. Another anticipated study would be on the design and construction works.

4.The item was voted on and endorsed.


PWSC(97-98)673066LCRedevelopment of Tai Lam Correctional Institution

5.Members expressed concern on the number of inmates anticipated in penal institutions. The Civil Secretary of Correctional Services Department (CS/CSD) said that the subject had been discussed in detail by the Subcommittee on Overcrowdedness in Penal Institutions under the Security Panel. The number of inmates had been on the increase in the past eight years and the trend was expected to continue in the coming ten years. Increases in penal places through the construction of new institutions or re-development of existing ones were therefore necessary. He confirmed that over 50 additional posts in the Correctional Services Department would be created to man the Tai Lam Correctional Institution after redevelopment. CS/CSD also clarified that the works would come under three stages to be completed by September 2001, but that the 260 additional penal places would be made available before then by stages.

6.On the floor area and average cost of the redevelopment project, the Director of Architectural Services (D Arch S) advised that the Institution would have a total floor area of 10 925 square metres at an average construction cost of $18,224 per square metre. A member requested the Administration to include in future discussion papers information on floor areas and the average construction cost of similar projects for comparison purpose. D Arch S agreed to consider the request in consultation with the Finance Bureau.

(Post-meeting note : The information requested has been included in papers on building projects to the Committee beginning with the meeting on 26 November 1997.)

7.A member referred to the construction cost for the project and enquired about the reason for the high cost. D Arch S responded that this was due to the strict conditions on the hours of work so as not to disrupt the normal operation of the Institution. Furthermore, the project would also include other works such as works on slopes, rewiring and the construction of an on-site sewage treatment plant. At members' request, he agreed to provide a breakdown of the costs. Admin

8.On whether the usable area of the dormitory blocks could be increased by extending the height of the blocks, CS/CSD advised that three storeys were already the maximum height for penal institutions for reasons of security and effective prison management. The eight-storey Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre had created serious management problems. Comparison with situations overseas as requested by some members would not be meaningful on account of the differences in environment and penal systems.

9.As regards environmental impact studies, the Director of Environmental Protection confirmed that redevelopment projects such as the one under consideration did not come under the terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance unless major works were involved. A hazard assessment showed that the project would not affect the Tai Lam Chung water pre-chlorination facilities. He agreed to confirm the above in writing and advise whether the assessment criteria were applied equally to Government and private projects. Admin

10.The item was voted on and endorsed.

PWSC(97-98)68 3229EP Extension to the Hong Kong Chinese Women's Club Hioe Tjo Yoeng Primary School, Shau Kei Wan

11.D Arch S advised in reply to a member that the floor area of the primary school after the extension project would be 5 692 square metres at a construction cost of $9,241 per square metre. He agreed to consider the member's suggestion for including information on floor areas and comparative figures on construction costs in future discussion papers for similar projects. As regards contributions from the sponsoring body of the school towards the project costs, the Assistant Director of Education (Allocation & Support) (AD of E(A&S)) explained that the extension works in question was initiated by Government in pursuance of the requirements recommended by the Education Commission in its Report No. 5. The requirement for the sponsoring body to make contributions towards the project cost was not applicable in this case.

12.The item was voted on and endorsed.

PWSC(97-98)71 3234EP Primary school in area 30, Tin Shui Wai

3236EP Primary school in area 3, Tai Po

3238EPPrimary school in area 77, Sha Tin

3240EPPrimary school at junction of Kiu Kiang Street and Hai Tan Street, Shamshuipo

3242EPPrimary school in Tin Wan, Aberdeen

3243EPPrimary school in Tsz Ching Estate, phase 2, Tsz Wan Shan

13.D Arch S advised in reply to a member that the construction cost for the six primary schools ranged from $6,995 to $9,157 per square metre. As regards the expenditure item of $4.1 million shown in the Enclosure and applicable only to one of the six schools, AD of E(A&S) explained that this was a Government primary school and the cost of furniture and equipment for the school was borne by the Government.

14.A member noted that some schools were provided with one basketball court while others had two. He enquired about the Administration's standard in this regard, and if the provision of two basketball courts for the primary school in area 3 of Tai Po was possible by adjusting the construction plan. In response, AD of E(A&S) said that the standard was for two basketball courts for a secondary school and at least one for primary schools. As the secondary school adjacent to the school in question was already under construction, adjustments was not possible at this stage. The member urged the Administration to undertake more comprehensive planning in future to maximise resources.

15.The item was voted on and endorsed.


PWSC(97-98)694079CD Stormwater drainage master plan study in Sha Tin and Tai Po

16.A member was worried about flooding problems in Sha Tin and Tai Po and expressed dissatisfaction at the long lead time of nine years to conduct the proposed study and to complete construction work. He asked if the process could be expedited by splitting up the study into smaller areas.

17.The Director of Drainage Services (DDS) said in response that the time schedule of the proposal had regard to the extensive area of Sha Tin and Tai Po as well as the broad scope of the study. Of the seven drainage master plan studies pledged by the Administration in 1995, Sha Tin and Tai Po belonged to the category of less serious flood prone districts and the need for remedies was not so acute. Nevertheless, DDS assured members that priority would be given to black spots once identified and improvement works would be conducted in parallel with the study. As the discussion paper stated explicitly that works would only start upon completion of all the studies, the member requested the Administration to confirm in writing the above assurance and also to elaborate on the reason for the need for the study to be conducted at one go instead of by phases covering smaller areas. DDS agreed to respond to the request before the item was to be considered by the Finance Committee on 12 December 1997. Admin

18.The item was voted on and endorsed. Mr Edward HO abstained.


PWSC(97-98)726519TH Route 10 - North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway

19.Noting that the proposed consultancy study on investigation and preliminary design works was scheduled for completion in August 2000 and that construction of Route 10 would only commence in 2002 for completion in 2007, a member expressed concern about traffic congestion problems at a number of strategic routes within North West New Territories (NWNT) which would be operating at or beyond their capacity by 2001, as stated in the discussion paper pursuant to a recent feasibility study.

20.In response, the Director of Highways (DHy) explained that traffic congestion in NWNT would partly be relieved upon the opening of the Route 3 (Country Park Section) in mid-1998. Although some strategic routes were operating near capacity by 2001, the traffic situation should still be tolerable.

21.On whether the proposed consultancy study and the Crosslinks Study undertaken by the Planning Department would be compatible with each other, DHy advised that the proposed study would take into account the findings of the Crosslinks Further Study which would be due for completion by September 1998, before proposals on the alignment and connections of the northern section of Route 10 would be finalised.

22.Referring to an earlier item PWSC(97-98)70 on the Northshore Lantau development feasibility study, a member enquired whether the study could be combined with the proposed study under consideration in order to save resources since the two appeared to be interrelated. In response, DHy advised that the two studies focused on different aspects. The present study was mainly on the development of Route 10 while the Northshore Lantau development feasibility study centered on a broader scope of development of port facilities and other land uses. As regards the alternative of including the preliminary design as part of the design and build contract to be undertaken by the contractor, as opposed to the funding of consultancies specifically for the preliminary design as was proposed, DHy responded that preliminary design and site investigation were necessary to determine the preferred alignment including bridge landing points and tunnel portal locations and in turn the extent of land to be resumed for gazetting purpose and the number of households affected.

23.Members emphasised the need for the Administration to provide a more comprehensive picture on the overall road network system with its related developments in future submissions involving large scale development studies. As the proposed project formed part of the new Western Highway to connect the western part of Hong Kong Island with NWNT via Lantau and in consideration of the significant impact of the project, members requested the Administration to provide a briefing on the proposed development of Route 10, including information on areas where population would concentrate, at a joint meeting of the Planning, Lands and Works Panel and the Transport Panel. Admin

24.The item was voted on and endorsed.


PWSC(97-98)647299CLTsuen Wan Bay further reclamation, area 35, phases I and II

25.The item was voted on and endorsed.

PWSC(97-98)637460CL Tai Po development, remaining works - formation and servicing of areas 12 (part) and 39

26.In response to members on objections received, the Director of Territory Development (DTD) said that the Administration had received two objections against the proposed roadwork on grounds of possible disturbance to the existing woodlands, possible adverse impact on the local ecology, and possible traffic hazard to residents nearby. The Chief Executive in Council had overruled the objections in the public interest and had authorised the proposed works subject to a slight modification of the road alignment to minimise possible disturbance to existing woodlands. Referring to the objection raised by Hampton, Winter and Glynn Solicitors on behalf of the Owners Committee of Villa Castell, DTD advised that the Environment Impact Assessment study had concluded that noise levels would be within acceptable standards following completion of phase 1 while owners' comments would be invited on the design of noise barriers in phase 2. As regards the road alignment, DTD confirmed that a direct connection from the Tolo Highway to area 39 as proposed by the owners would not be practicable in view of the high speed limit of Tolo Highway.

27.As to whether the area could be developed more fully to encompass more housing projects, DTD explained that only low-rise developments such as government and community facilities would be proposed for the area on account of its zoning as a low density area. Phase 1 of the project would include mainly an off-campus sports centre for the Hong Kong Institute of Education while phase 2 would include low-rise residential and village developments. He affirmed in response to a member that no suitable site was available near the campus to accommodate the sports centre.

28.The item was voted on and endorsed.


PWSC(97-98)659034WF Additional trunk transfer facilities between Yuen Long and Tuen Mun

29.In response to members' enquiries, the Director of Water Supplies (DWS) said that the project was to lay additional trunk facilities to transport treated water from the Au Tau water treatment works in Yuen Long to Tuen Mun since the Tuen Mun water treatment works would not be able to meet the expected increase in fresh water demand by 2001. The work would be completed in 2001 and would cater for the expected increase in fresh water demand in Tuen Mun beyond 2004 as a result of population expansion in the district. He confirmed that additional water treatment plants would be built to meet the increased demand.

30.The item was voted on and endorsed.

PWSC(97-98)619086WC Water supply to Pak Shek Kok, Tai Po

31.Referring to paragraph 3 of the discussion paper, a member asked whether the capacity of the pumping station was limited to 5 500 cubic metres a day, in line with the 5 500 cubic metre storage capacity of the fresh water reservoir. DWS clarified that the pumping station in fact had a higher capacity than the daily demand of 5 500 cubic metres; the excess capacity would allow for the supply of water for other uses such as fire extinguishing. The general practice was to keep the water storage level below the daily demand to ensure a fresh supply of water.

32.The item was voted on and endorsed.


PWSC(97-98)66B270WF Yuen Long water supply - Tan Kwai Tsuen north fresh water service reservoir

33.The item was voted on and endorsed.

34.The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
10 December 1997