Information Paper for the
Legislative Council Panel on Housing

Special Meeting on 1 September 1999

The Administration's Response to Questions raised by the Chairman

Landslip near Shek Kip Mei Estate

Question No. 1

Which slopes in Hong Kong do the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) claim are owned by the Housing Department (HD) but considered by the latter not to be under its care ? Please provide a list of such slopes showing their locations and the housing estates where they are located.


Following recent discussions between departments, there is no disagreement within the Government over the allocation of responsibility for slope maintenance. The Housing Department has agreed to take on the routine maintenance of some 400 slopes adjoining Housing Authority properties as the Government's works agent with funds provided by the Government. GEO will continue to be responsible for any necessary upgrading work.

Question No. 2

Regarding the slope failure at Shek Kip Mei Estate, GEO's Catalogue of Slopes (the GEO's Catalogue) shows that HD was identified as the department responsible for the management of the slope concerned as early as 1977, with only the ownership of the slope to be confirmed by the Lands Department (LandsD). After a lapse of over 20 years, why LandsD is unable to confirm the ownership of the slope ?


The Government was and is the owner of the slope, which was not included in boundary of the Shek Kip Mei Estate drawn up in 1985.

Question No. 3

According to the GEO's Catalogue, which slopes in Hong Kong fall within the geographical jurisdiction of HD while their ownership is yet to be confirmed by LandsD ? What maintenance works have been carried out to these slopes and when ? Please provide a table detailing such information.


For slopes within public housing estate boundaries, HD has always been responsible for maintenance. For slopes on unallocated government land but affecting housing estates, HD has recently agreed to be the routine maintenance agent with funds provided by Government.

Question No. 4

When have maintenance works been carried out to the collapsed slope at Shek Kip Mei Estate ? What risk rating is given by GEO to that slope according to the latest record ?


The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) investigated the slope in 1977 and completed upgrading work in 1979. The GEO reviewed the stability of the slope in 1985, carried out minor repair work in 1995 and inspected the slope in 1996. The HD had inspected the slope in 1998. Since no signs of instability were found during the inspection, no additional maintenance work was carried out.

The failure of the slope is the subject of a detailed study to be completed by the GEO in six months' time.

Question No. 5

Please set out the rehousing arrangements for residents of Blocks 35, 36 and 38 of Shek Kip Mei Estate. How many of the residents have declined HD's rehousing offers ? What are the reasons and how HD will deal with the situation ?


Affected residents will be rehoused to new and refurbished flats in the vicinity including those in Housing for Senior Citizen blocks in Pak Tin Estate, Un Chau Estate and Hoi Fu Court. HD has not encountered strong opposition to the rehousing arrangements. Cases warranting special care and attention will be dealt with appropriately. As at 30 August, 326 of the 380 affected families have selected flats.

Housing Bureau
Government Secretariat

August 1999