Decision on Express Rail funding vital

Decision on Express Rail funding vital

Hong Kong will face serious consequences if the Legislative Council does not approve additional funding for constructing the Express Rail Hong Kong section, Secretary for Transport & Housing Prof Anthony Cheung says.

Speaking after attending a radio programme today, Prof Cheung said a decision must be made by the end of February on whether to temporarily suspend the Hong Kong section of the project.

He noted the decision should be made before July, when the existing $65 billion entrustment fee given to the MTR Corporation will be exhausted.

“By the end of February, that is roughly the time we need to consider the question. I am not saying that by the end of February we have to stop works. I am saying that we have to start thinking, and the time window is rather narrow by that time.”

He added that the first step would be a temporary suspension, but after a six-month temporary suspension the contractors can walk out because the contracts will be deemed terminated.

The Government has to restart the tendering process if it wants to restart the works, Prof Cheung said, adding that new contractors may have views about existing works and more time will be needed to review project design and to sort out all kinds of issues.

“Any termination of contract will lead to more expenses and longer time to complete the project,” he said.

 

Decision on Express Rail funding vital

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