14 April 2000
West Rail works did not cause or aggravate flooding
Attention News Editors:
In response to press enquiries on whether KCRC West Rail works have contributed to the flooding in the New Territories today, a KCRC spokesman make the following statement:
1. KCRC states categorically that the flooding in the New Territories has not been caused or aggravated by West Rail construction works.
2. KCRC has explained in advance to the Drainage Services Department that West Rail's construction activities do not impede drainage channels nor cause blockage such as to cause flooding.
3. KCRC is able to closely monitor the weather patterns by the use of real time data as well as satellite imagery from the Hong Kong Observatory.Early warning is passed to contractors in advance of bad weather conditions, as part of the preventive measures to ensure that works in progress do not impede drainage paths.
4. KCRC contractors are required at all times to ensure that the original drainage capacity within and surrounding their sites is maintained.
5. As part of the West Rail works, KCRC are constructing major open drainage channels and box culverts on behalf of the Government's Drainage Services Department.On completion, that will result in significant improvement to the drainage system in the Kam Tin Valley.
6. Since early this morning, KCRC has received complaints of about 20 cases of flooding at or around West Rail sites.These sites are located in flood-prone areas that have a long history of flooding.We are in close contact with relevant government departments and district offices in dealing with these cases and to assist in anyway possible. Emergency works such as digging channels and pumping to drain the floodwater are part of the KCRC's efforts, notwithstanding the fact that the West Rail Project is not the cause of the flooding.