Information Paper for thePURPOSE
Legislative Council Panel on Housing
Special Meeting on 1 September 1999
Landslip near Shek Kip Mei Estate
This paper briefs members on the landslip which occurred on 25 August 1999 near Shek Kip Mei Estate and the rehousing arrangements offered by the Housing Department (HD) to residents displaced by the subsequent evacuation of three affected public housing blocks.
2. A landslip at a man-made slope near Block 36 of Shek Kip Mei Estate occurred on 25 August 1999 (Wednesday). It posed a threat to the safety of residents. Emergency evacuation of 380 households in Blocks 35, 36 and 38 was ordered by HD on the advice of the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO).
3. Affected residents were temporarily accommodated at Tai Hang Tung, Shek Kip Mei and Pak Tin Community Halls. After further assessment, GEO declared the slope unsafe and Blocks 35, 36 and 38 of the estate unsuitable for habitation. HD immediately arranged for permanent rehousing of affected residents.
ISSUES OF CONCERN
(a) The number of slopes under the responsibility of HD; the condition and maintenance of these slopes
4. There are 1,377 man-made slopes within the boundaries of Housing Authority properties maintained by HD (excluding slopes adjacent to HOS courts).
5. HD has a preventive system to monitor and maintain slope safety. Regular engineering inspections by appointed consultants, technical staff and management staff are carried out on all slopes maintained by HD. According to the results of the inspections, all HD-maintained slopes are in satisfactory condition.
(b) The number of slopes near public housing estates which are "unallocated slopes" without any government department/agency taking up the maintenance responsibility
6. In 1996, the Lands Department (LandsD) commissioned a three-year consultancy study called Systematic Identification of Maintenance Responsibility of Slopes (SIMAR) to determine the maintenance agent for each government-owned slope in the territory. Of the total number of slopes identified by the SIMAR study, about 400 are now to be taken by HD following recent discussions within the Government. The HD has agreed to take up responsibility for the routine maintenance of these slopes as the Government's work agent.
(c) Rehousing arrangements for the public housing tenants affected by the landslide at Shek Kip Mei Estate
7. With assistance from the Home Affairs Department and the Social Welfare Department, more than 700 residents have been temporarily accommodated at Tai Hang Tung, Shek Kip Mei and Pak Tin Community Halls. HD has undertaken to rehouse all affected residents (380 households). Sufficient new and refurbished flats at Pak Tin Estate, Un Chau Estate and Hoi Fu Court (including flats in Housing for Senior Citizens blocks) have been identified.
8. Details of the rehousing arrangements are as follows -
GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING OFFICE REPORT ON SLOPES MAINTAINED BY THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT
- registration of affected tenants by HD began on 26 August and completed on 27 August;
- arrangements were made for affected tenants to view sample flats in Pak Tin Estate, Un Chau Estate and Hoi Fu Court on the same two days;
- balloting to determine priority for selection of flats was held on 29 August at Shek Kip Mei Community Hall;
- selection of flats and handing over of keys to the first batch of tenants commenced on 30 August;
- Domestic Removal Allowance is paid to affected tenants;
- removal service is offered to senior citizens and disabled persons;
- as an exceptional arrangement, affected tenants will be given Letters of Assurance for relocation to the original reception estate at Pak Tin Estate Phase 3, scheduled for completion in 2003-04, if they so wish.
9. Sufficient copies of the executive summary of the report entitled "1998 Slope Maintenance Audit Report on Housing Department" published by the Geotechnical Engineering Office and two copies of the full report are deposited at the LegCo Secretariat for members' scrutiny.