Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after attending the second meeting of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Joint Task Force on Boundary District Development today (September 18):
Secretary for Development: I am very pleased to be able to announce today that following the second meeting of the Joint Task Force on the cross-boundary infrastructure that the Shenzhen Government and the HKSAR Government have confirmed that we would commence the development of a new border control point and the eastern part of Hong Kong and Shenzhen at the areas Liantang and Heung Yuen Wai. This control point is strategically important because it will enhance the connection and accessibility on the eastern part of Hong Kong and Shenzhen and shorten the distance and travelling time from the eastern part of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to the eastern part of the Guangdong province and then also up into Fujian province and Jiangxi province. Of course the passenger trips and vehicle trips increased significantly between the two places in recent years. We appreciate that the public want better service, so this border control point will also improve the quality of service for our cross-boundary passengers. Although we have chosen on using the conventional mode, that is separate immigration and customs facilities on both sides, the design of the new passenger building will be in such a way that it will be very user-friendly, and the passengers need only to walk through a pedestrian bridge of about 100 metres in order to have clearance of the immigration and customs. That's why we feel that it is really very timely to formally commence the development of a new control point serving the eastern parts of Hong Kong and Shenzhen at this point in time. This project is estimated to cost about $9.6 billion at September, 2007 prices. The main bulk of the expenditure is actually on the access road costing about $6.1 billion in order to connect the new border control point with the rest of Hong Kong through a new expressway all the way to the Tolo Highway. That's why this investment is not only just for the increased traffic between the two places, it also helps to open up the northern part of New Territories especially at the area where we are now conducting a feasibility study on the new development areas at Ta Kwu Ling and Ping Che to serve a new population in Hong Kong. We see a lot of tangible and intangible benefits arising from this new control point. We will press ahead with the work and hopefully this new control pint will come into operation by the year 2018. Thank you very much.
Question: About preparatory work......
Secretary for Development: Basically there is quite a lot of preparatory work that we need to do. As I have mentioned that on Hong Kong side most of the land needed for the new control point is held in private hands, so we need to commence land acquisition, particularly in re-siting a village called Chuk Yuen Village. There are about 62 buildings in that village, and that's an indigenous village. That's why we need to discuss with the villagers the appropriate re-siting arrangements. And then we also have to do the training of the Shenzhen River. What is important in the next step is of course to commence a detailed engineering study and to do a preliminary design for the passenger building. We hope to be able to get the funding approved by the Legislative Council before the end of this year, so that we could start all these detailed investigation before the middle of next year. Time is very tight in order to complete the project by 2018. But we are working towards that target.
Thank you very much.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Thursday, September 18, 2008
Issued at HKT 21:24
Findings of the "Shenzhen-Hong Kong Joint Preliminary Planning Study on Developing the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point" (Chinese only)