The cost for advance work on the MTR Corp Ltd’s Sha Tin-Central rail link may rise to HK$7.13 billion after lawmakers gave initial approval to inject HK$848 million into construction.
In the Legislative Council’s public works subcommittee meeting yesterday, the Transport Bureau said additional funds are needed for railway construction, ventilation facilities in Admiralty station and railway construction in Ho Man Tin station. The reasons for the project’s budget overrun were also addressed. Some lawmakers blamed outdated reference data for the delay in the project.
“The Highways Department told us last time that the on-cost payable to the MTRC has been cut. After the consultant has considered the scale and the complexity of the project, both sides agreed on a lower percentage. Why did we come up with the figure of 16.5 percent [of the total project cost]?” said Nathan Law Kwun-chung of Demosisto.
He argued that the budget overrun came from a fault in the system and demanded an update to the referenced geotechnical data and reform of construction procedures.
Undersecretary for Transport Yau Shing-mu said the percentage was subject to adjustments and the government did not have sufficient information to decide on the percentage earlier.
The Finance Committee must give the final approval on the funds injection.