17 December 1999
Tsim Sha Tsui Extension on schedule
Commenting on a front page article in the South China Morning Post today (Friday, 17 December 1999)), a KCRC spokesman said there is no truth in the claim that the Corporation's plans to extend East Rail to Tsim Sha Tsui had been blocked by environmental officials. This statement is made following consultation with the Environmental Protection Department, whose representative confirmed that KCRC's submission is still being examined.
"Equally, it is misleading to say that the project has been rejected by the Government because it did not meet legal requirements," he said.
The spokesman explained that in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, the Corporation submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report to the Environmental Protection Department on 28 September 1999.
"The Department has since written back in the normal way to suggest that certain other issues be addressed.It also made it clear that, having done so, the EIA Report could be re-submitted and that it would then be processed normally.
"This has been done and the revised EIA Report has been submitted to the Department on 1 December 1999.The report is being reviewed by the Department.
"This exchange is normal for a project of this size and complexity, and to conclude that this means a rejection of the project is totally misleading.
"The project is on schedule and there is no question of any delay, let alone rejection," he said.
Commenting on the reporter's claim that "the KCR was not available for comment last night", the spokesman said all media organizations have been given a telephone contact list of KCRC Public Affairs Staff who are available after office hours.
"It is a matter for regret that the reporter did not contact our Public Affairs staff or our senior staff, whose telephone numbers are easily available, and who could have easily put the story into proper perspective," he said.