Public Works Subcommittee

Record of Meeting held on 7 December 1995 at 10:45 am
in the Legislative Council Chamber


    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Non-PWSC Member

    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming


    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon Edward LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP

In attendance for specific items:

Mr K S LEUNG, JP Director of Highways (Acting)
Mr Y Y NG, JP Director of Drainage Services
Mr Alex NG Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Facility Management)
Mr F P WONG Deputy Government Property Administrator
Mr B G HEMSHALL Assistant Director/Administration, Independent Commission Against Corruption
Mr Kenneth CHAN, JP Director of Architectural Services
Mr Anthony TONG Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support)
Mr Davey CHUNG Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower

In attendance:

Mr Canice MAK, JP Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Acting)
Mr K K KWOK Deputy Secretary for Works
Dr S B REED, OBE, JP Director of Environmental Protection
Mr Mike ARNOLD Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (Acting)
Miss Pauline NG Assistant Secretary General
Mrs Constance LI Clerk to the Public Works Subcommittee
Mr Andy LAU Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Upgrading of projects to Category A



Public transport interchange at the Tai Kok Tsui Airport Railway Station

Mr Edward HO Sing-tin declared an interest as a board member of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC).

2. In response to Members’ questions, the Director of Highways (DHy) (Acting) advised that the Transport Department, the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, the MTRC and other interested parties had been consulted on the proposed layout plan of the public transport interchange (PTI). The Government would entrust the works to MTRC as part of the land grant conditions at a fixed ceiling cost of $18.56 million. This arrangement was in line with the previous practice for MTRC projects whereby any additional costs above the ceiling including inflation adjustments would be borne by the MTRC.

3. At the request of Members, the Administration agreed to provide information on the availability of spare bus bays for future expansion, and the loading facilities for public light buses and coaches.


4. This item was voted on and endorsed. Mrs Miriam LAU reserved her position on the paper pending further information to be provided by the Administration on the facilities.




Territorial land drainage and flood control strategy study phase III

5. Referring to the remainder of 55CD which would be retained in Category B, the Director of Drainage Services (DDS) advised that the remaining part of 55CD would include five other catchment areas. The current project covering Yuen Long, Kam Tin, Ngau Tam Mei and Tin Shui Wai was in fact the initial stage of an overall strategic plan to resolve the local drainage problems in the North and the Northwest New Territories. Some Members expressed concern that since the necessary improvement works would only commence after the study, it would take an unduly long time for the drainage problem to be resolved. They asked if the Government would be prepared to put more resources into the project so as to speed up the improvement programme. In reply, DDS advised that the Administration was already taking steps separately to tackle the flooding problems of the main river channels in the New Territories. As the proposed investigation into the tributaries and local drainage problems covered a wide area in the New Territories, the estimated timetable was considered reasonable. Nevertheless, if the study identified areas which required urgent improvements to be carried out, the Administration would consider according priority to the proposed works. As regards the timetable for improvements to the remaining five catchment areas not covered by the current study, DDS would provide the information to Members in writing.


6. On the scope of the proposed consultancy works, some Members considered that since the estimated cost already included $10 million for the consultants to carry out specialist investigations, the provision of $1.2 million for consultants’ fees for supervision of specialist investigations would appear unnecessary. In reply, DDS advised that the consultants would need some degree of flexibility in determining their work plans and resources, and where contractors were to be engaged to assist in specialist investigations, the consultants would need to supervise the contractors’ work. He added that the estimated consultants’ fees were only provisional, and the actual price would be subject to a competitive bidding process. He assured Members that the proposed drainage master plan studies would be cost-effective. The studies would identify the conditions and inadequacies in the existing tributaries and local drainage systems so that appropriate improvement works could be carried out according to a prioritised programme to be developed by the consultants. As regards the reason why Tin Shui Wai, a new town, was included in the study, DDS clarified that the Tin Shui Wai water catchment area actually covered a much wider area than just the new town. On the question why the consultants’ fees included the selection of appropriate options, DDS advised that the consultants would need to scrutinize, and, where necessary, conduct further studies to evaluate the proposals and comments from interested parties, before deciding on the most viable option for the implementation programme.

7. This item was voted on and endorsed.



Upgrading of sewage treatment works for sludge disposal

8. This item was voted on and endorsed.




Purchase of departmental quarters for married staff of the Independent Commission Against Corruption 1996

9. In response to a Member, the Assistant Director/Administration (AD/A), Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) advised that it was the Government's policy to provide, subject to availability of resources, departmental quarters for married disciplined services staff through purchase or construction. In explaining why the purchase option instead of building quarters was pursued, AD/A advised that, for operational reasons, it would be undesirable to house ICAC investigators en bloc in one building. The purchase option would be more practical in view of the need to both spread the quarters in different districts which were well served by public transport, and also alleviate within a short timeframe the serious shortfall in the provision of quarters to ICAC staff. In this respect, the Deputy Government Property Administrator (DGPA) confirmed that the ICAC suffered a much more serious shortfall (52%) than the other disciplined services (roughly 10%) in the provision of staff quarters.

10. In reply to a Member, DGPA advised that the unit cost per square foot for the 21 F/H grade units and the 12 D/E grade units would be about $3,500 - $4,000 and $5,000 respectively.

11. This item was voted on and endorsed.



Primary school in Ko Chiu Road, Kwun Tong

12. At the request of a non-PWSC Member, the Chairman agreed that a submission from a group of Lam Tin residents dated 6 December 1995 and a memo from the Architectural Services Department to the Director of Education dated 26 October 1994 could be tabled at the meeting.

13. While Members were generally in support of the need to provide an additional primary school in Ko Chiu Road to meet the shortfall in school places in school zone 219, some Members were concerned about the suitability of the location for the proposed school site. On the basis of the information provided by the documents tabled at the meeting, Members had doubts about the safety of the site which was located at the bottom of a slope below Hong Pak Court. They considered that the Government should carefully assess whether the site would be vulnerable to risks such as flooding and landslides. In addition, the proposed site was inconvenient to residents living above the slope such as those in Hong Pak Court.

14. On the demand of primary school places in the school zone, the Assistant Director of Education (AD of E) (Allocation and Support) advised that two new schools were scheduled to open in 1996 to meet the shortfall arising from the closure of three schools as a result of the Housing Authority Redevelopment Programme, and these new schools should already be able to accommodate the needs of the residents of the Hong Pak Court. The current proposal was required to meet the shortfall of primary school places in the areas surrounding the proposed school site in 1998. On risk assessment, AD of E advised that the works departments had been consulted, and arrangements would be made to divert the existing drainage nullah and water mains to reduce any potential flooding risks. Nonetheless, he fully appreciated Members’ concern about the slope safety of the proposed school site and agreed to seek confirmation again from the relevant works Departments on the risk assessment. To address Members’ comments on the proposal, the Administration agreed to withdraw the paper to obtain further clarification on risk assessments before resubmitting the proposal to the Committee.

15. The meeting ended at 11.45 a.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
3 January 1996

Last Updated on 27 November 1998