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CEDD dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment

 The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is committed to giving due consideration to protecting and enhancing the environment when planning and designing infrastructural projects.

Addressing the Route 8 Sha Tin Heights Tunnel and Approaches Community Planting Day ceremony today (September 23), the Director of Civil Engineering and Development, Mr Chai Sung-veng, said the CEDD had incorporated environmental protection and enhancement concepts in the planning and design of the project.

Mr Chai said, "The enhancement works include the planting of about 60,000 trees and 180,000 shrubs and flowers. In addition to planting along the roadside and underneath the viaducts, we also maximised the greening works by planting creepers at retaining walls to minimise the visual impact caused by the works."

The roof of the full enclosure for the Sha Tin Heights Approaches had been turned into a landscaped deck that could mitigate noise impact as well as enhance the environment, blending engineering works with environmental protection and landscaping, he said.

Route 8 Sha Tin Heights Tunnel and Approaches form a major part of the Cheung Sha Wan/Sha Tin Section of Route 8. Costing about $1.17 billion, the works were started in November 2002 and are expected to be completed by 2007.

Following the completion of the entire Route 8, the expected travel time from Sha Tin to Cheung Sha Wan will be shortened to about 10 minutes. Route 8 will also improve the traffic conditions of Lion Rock Tunnel, Tate's Cairn Tunnel, Shing Mun Tunnel and Tai Po Road.

In organising the community planting day, the CEDD hopes to raise public awareness of environmental protection as well as treasuring the natural resources through their participation in the greening of the environment.

Mr Chai said that in addition to the greening mitigation measures for infrastructure work, the CEDD also carried out soil erosion control planting and greening for the environment in the districts.

"In 2005, the CEDD has planted over 180,000 seedlings of trees and shrubs for soil erosion control. We will also provide landscape treatment to the upgraded slopes as part of the works. In particular, we will cover the slopes with vegetation as far as possible to bring a swath of green to our community," Mr Chai said.

In the densely populated urban areas, CEDD will formulate the Greening Master Plans and implement the greening works according to the Plans. The pilot greening schemes in Tsim Sha Tsui were completed last year. The department is implementing further greening schemes in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central for completion next year. 

Noting that the Greening Master Plans have been well received by the public, Mr Chai said the CEDD planned to extend the greening schemes to Mong Kok, and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, as well as Sheung Wan, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay in Hong Kong Island next year.

Ends/Saturday, September 23, 2006