8 October 2000
Need to strike a balance on the Spur Line alignment
A KCRC spokesman today (Sunday) reiterated the need to strike a balance in fixing an alignment for the Sheung Shui - Lok Ma Chau Spur Line.
He said, "In recognition of the ecological value of Long Valley, the Corporation has considered carefully more than ten alternative routes including those put forward by the green groups in a bid to avoid the valley.
"But, none of these routes are practicable. Moving the alignment to the north will require the relocation of the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, the Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works, and five Dongjiang water mains located right next to the existing East Rail. This will affect the livelihood of Hong Kong people in terms of fresh meat supply, sewage services and water supply.
"Reprovisioning of these facilities will delay the completion of the Spur Line by five years, pushing the Lo Wu overcrowding problem well beyond its limit."
"It will also cause greater impacts on 4,000 people living in the villages of Ho Sheung Heung and Tsung Yuen in terms of visual intrusion, land take, heritage, ancestral graves and fung shui issues.
"The alternative southern alignments will affect the livelihood of same number of people living in the villages of Yin Kong, Tsung Pak Long and Tai Tau Leng."
" The Sheung Shui Rural Committee and local villagers have expressed grave concern about the impacts of changing the alignment and made strong representations to the Government."
"Furthermore, the alternative southern routes will cause unacceptable disruption to road traffic to and from Man Kam To and Fanling Highway and will require the resumption of an industrial building."
"Because of these serious social implications, we are left with no alternatives but the option to cross Long Valley."
The spokesman emphasized that the ecological issues of the chosen alignment were fully addressed in the EIA report.
"We are confident that by creating and upgrading wetland habitats and implementing other on-site mitigation measures, no birds will be driven out as a result of the construction and operation of the Spur Line," the spokesman said.