For discussion
on 2 December 1998



New Territories North Development
Civil Engineering - Drainage and erosion protection
53CD - New Territories North East development - main drainage channels for Fanling, Sheung Shui and hinterland

    Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee -

  1. the upgrading of part of 53CD, entitled "River training works for the lower River Indus and River Beas", to Category A at an estimated cost of $431.2 million in money-of-the-day prices; and

  2. the retention of the remainder of 53CD, re-titled "River training works for the upper River Indus", in Category B.


We need to carry out river training works to the River Indus and the River Beas in order to ameliorate the flooding problems in the low-lying flood plain areas of Fanling, Sheung Shui and hinterland.


2. The Director of Territory Development (DTD), with the support of the Secretary for Works, proposes to upgrade part of 53CD to Category A at an estimated cost of $431.2 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the river training works at the lower River Indus and the River Beas.


3. The scope of 53CD comprises -

  1. river training works throughout major portions of the River Indus (the lower Indus and the upper Indus) and the River Beas;

  2. construction of maintenance accesses with associated drainage works;

  3. reprovisioning of vehicular bridges, pedestrian river crossings and other existing facilities affected by the river training works; and

  4. the implementation of environmental mitigation measures.

4.The part of the project we now propose to upgrade to Category A comprises the following -

  1. widening, deepening and realigning the lower River Indus and the River Beas as well as their tributaries;

  2. construction of maintenance accesses with associated drainage works;

  3. reprovisioning of two existing pedestrian river crossings and other facilities affected by the river training works described in part (a) above;

  4. environmental mitigation measures including landscape works, fish pond restoration and creation of compensatory wetlands at river bends; and

  5. an environmental monitoring and audit programme for the works mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d) above.


5. The river channels of the River Indus and the River Beas lack sufficient width and depth to allow the effective discharge of flood waters into the Shenzhen River. As a result, villages and farmland in the river basins are prone to flooding during typhoons or heavy rainstorms. On a number of occasions, houses and other properties inside and in the vicinity of the basins have been flooded, resulting in significant economic losses and disruption to transport, communication, social and commercial activities.

6. We completed a River Indus Study in May 1989. The Study recommended that we carry out full scale river training works in the Indus Basin to alleviate the flooding problem. A land drainage and flood control study under 52CD, which was completed in June 1993, also confirmed the recommendation of the River Indus Study. It recommended that we complete the river training works in the Indus Basin in step with the Shenzhen River regulation project1.

7. In collaboration with the Shenzhen Municipal Government, we started the Shenzhen River regulation project in May 1995 for completion of the section of Shenzhen River downstream of its junction with the River Indus by end 2000. To complete the river training works in the Indus basin in step with the Shenzhen River regulation project, we need to start the proposed river training works in February 1999.

8. As part of the works, we will construct the necessary accesses to facilitate future maintenance of the river channels. We will also construct two pedestrian river crossings at Lo Wu and Ho Sheung Heung to reprovision existing river crossings which will be demolished to make way for the proposed works.


9. We estimate the capital cost of the project to be $431.2 million in MOD prices (see paragraph 10 below), made up as follows -

$ million
(a) River training works194.0
(b) Roads and drainage works32.0
(c) Reprovisioning works including pedestrian river crossings 18.0
(d) Environmental mitigation measures36.0
(e) Environmental monitoring and audit programme10.0
(f) Consultants' fees for -37.0
    (i) construction stage
    (ii) site staff costs
(g) Contingencies33.0
Sub-total360.0 (at December 1997 prices)
(h) Inflation allowance71.2
(in MOD prices)

As DTD do not have sufficient in-house resources for the project, we propose to employ consultants to carry out the construction supervision. A breakdown by man months of the estimate for consultants’ fees is at the Enclosure.

10. Subject to approval, we will phase the expenditure as follows -

Year$ million
(Dec 1997)
$ million
1999 - 200090.01.12890101.6
2000 - 2001195.01.19663233.3
2001 - 200260.01.2684376.1
2002 - 200315.01.3445420.2

11. We have derived the MOD estimate on the basis of the Government's latest forecast of trend labour and construction prices for the period from 1999 to 2003. We will tender the proposed works under a standard remeasurement contract because the works involve extensive earthworks, the quantities of which may vary according to the actual ground conditions. The contract will provide for inflation adjustments because the contract period will exceed 21 months.

12. We estimate the annually recurrent expenditure to be $3.98 million.


13. We consulted the concerned rural committees in the North District and the North Provisional District Board on the proposed works on 17 July and 18 July 1997 respectively. Members supported the project.

14. We gazetted the proposed works under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance on 28 November 1997. We received one objection from the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong on environmental grounds. To address the concerns, we plan to adopt a 2-year post-construction environmental monitoring programme, and a long-term management and maintenance programme2 for the wetlands to be created at river bends. The objector agreed to the proposed mitigation measures and withdrew the objection. The Chief Executive in Council authorised the proposed works on 27 March 1998.


15. We completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project in October 1997. The EIA concluded that with the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures, the environmental impacts arising from the project could be mitigated to within the established standards and guidelines. The mitigation measures include proper design to minimise concreting of the river channel bed, revegetation in open space within the site, creation of wetlands at abandoned river bends and restoration of fish ponds upon completion of the river training works. The Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) endorsed the EIA report on 24 November 1997.

16. We will incorporate all the recommended mitigation measures in the detailed design and implement them during construction. We will also carry out an environmental monitoring and audit (EM&A) programme and submit regular ecological monitoring and audit reports to the ACE at the construction stage and during the 2-year post-construction period. The estimated costs of the mitigation measures and the EM&A programme have been included in the overall project estimate.


17. We will resume about 19 hectares of agricultural land for the project. The land acquisition and clearance will affect 73 households involving 207 people and 298 structures. The Director of Housing will rehouse eligible clearees in public housing in accordance with existing policy. We will charge the cost of land acquisition and clearance, estimated at $393 million, to Head 701 - Land Acquisition.


18. We upgraded 53CD to Category B in November 1992. In July 1995, Finance Committee (FC) approved the upgrading of part of 53CD to Category A as 72CD "Village flood protection for Tsung Pak Long and Tai Tau Leng, New Territories" for flood protection works in the low-lying village areas of the River Sutlej. We started the works in February 1996 and completed them in August 1998.

19. In June 1996, FC approved the upgrading of a further part of 53CD to Category A as 85CD "Main drainage channels for Fanling, Sheung Shui and hinterland : site investigations and consultants’ fees" for carrying out the necessary site investigations, environmental impact assessment and detailed design for the main drainage channels for Fanling, Sheung Shui and hinterland. We engaged consultants in July 1996 to undertake the detailed design work under 85CD. The consultants have completed the detailed design and drawings for the proposed works.

20. We plan to start the works in February 1999 for completion in March 2001. We will implement the remaining works under 53CD later for completion by mid 2002.


Works BureauNovember 1998

Enclosure to PWSC(98-99)49

53CD - New Territories North East development -main drainage channels for Fanling, Sheung Shui and hinterland

Breakdown of the estimate for consultants' fees

Consultants' staff costsEstimated
($ million)
(a) Contract administrationProfessional
(b) Preparation of as-built drawings Professional
(c) Resident site staff costs Professional

Total consultants' staff costs

* MPS = Master Pay Scale Notes1.

A multiplier factor of 3 is applied to the average MPS point to arrive at the full staff costs including the consultants' overheads and profit, as the staff will be employed in the consultants' offices. A multiplier factor of 2.1 is applied to the average MPS point in the case of resident site staff supplied by the consultants. (At 1.4.97, MPS pt. 40 = $59,210 p.m. and MPS pt. 16 = $19,860 p.m.).

2. The figures given above are based on estimates prepared by the Director of Territory Development. The consultancy works for this project have been included as part of the overall consultancy agreement for the main drainage channel works for Fanling, Sheung and hinterland.

[ 1We normally complete river training works for downstream sections first and gradually work upstream as it would not serve flood prevention purposes to widen upstream channels while downstream sections are still constricted. River training works in the Indus Basin can only be carried out when the downstream works along the Shenzhen River are in place and we have planned the programme for this project accordingly.] .

[ 2This programme will be carried out by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department.]