In response to press enquiries on the illegal excavation of pebbles and boulders from Tung Chung stream for the construction of the artificial lake for Penny's Bay Development project, a spokesman for the Civil Engineering Department (CED) said today (December 4):
"A contractor was engaged by the Rural Committee of Tung Chung to carry out the flood protection works for a stream course in Tung Chung. Such works were unrelated to the Penny's Bay Development project, and had not been submitted for the approval of the government.
This contractor, which was not a contractor of CED, had removed the pebbles and boulders from the stream course and stockpiled the materials in a vacant land away from the stream.
In September 2003, CED's contractor, China State Construction Engineering (HK) Ltd (CSCE), approached Rural Committee's flood protection works contractor to inspect the materials of the stockpile to see if the materials were acceptable for use in CED's project.
CED requested CSCE to provide adequate evidence on the legality of the source of materials. CSCE produced a letter showing that the materials came from the flood protection works contractor. CED continued to ask for more information and also took the initiative to check the land status of the source with other government department.
We later learned from Lands Department (Lands D) that the above stream and the adjacent land were on Government Land. CED then immediately stopped CSCE from delivering the pebbles and boulders. To date, all pebbles and boulders were sent back.
Lands D issued a warning letter to the Rural Committee of Tung Chung on November 11 requiring a proposal for reinstating the stream and an associated access track.
Lands D will follow up with Rural Committee of Tung Chung for the restoration of the stream course. The department had notified the police requesting an investigation into the alleged case.
In the process of sourcing the materials for the Penny's Bay Development project, CED had followed the established procedures and effectively stopped the stream course from being further damaged in co-operation with other Government departments."
End/Thursday, December 4, 2003