Bathing beach project going ahead but no sign of work on site
Apparently unfazed by an ongoing application for a judicial review, the government is pressing ahead with its controversial project for a bathing beach in Tai Po, although nothing seems to have been done on site so far since the contract was awarded two months ago.
In the normal course of events, in the early stages of a contract, there might be small container office for the contractor, some machinery, a site agent and a few workers, site hoarding, and a project signboard perhaps.
However when Construction Post visiting Lung Mei in Tai Po on 10 August and again yesterday, there was no sign whatsoever of any of these things.
Upon enquiry regarding the apparent non-activity on site, a spokeswoman for the Civil Engineering and Development Department said the contract commenced on 18 June and that baseline monitoring works and pre-construction works are being carried out.
“We have not received any claim for an extension of time so far,” she said.
The spokewoman did not answer a query asking if the lack of work on site was connected to the application for judicial review of the government’s decision to proceed with the project.
Last June the department awarded the project to Welcome Construction for a contract sum of HK$74.3 million.
The project is scheduled for completion in March 2015.
Earlier this month, the High Court heard an application for a judicial review from the Save Lung Mei Alliance.
Environmentalists are upset the project may cause irreparable damage to the delicate ecology at Lung Mei.
The issue of an environmental permit in April 2010 by the Environmental Protection Department has had concern groups jumping up and down because of concerns that an earlier ecological study compiled to support the application for the permit was not comprehensive enough.
Whether the government has ordered suspension of the project or that progress of site works is slow is unclear so far.
What is clear though is that Welcome Construction has shown admirable patience on the project, after waiting eight months for news of the contract award.
The way things have gone so far, it might have to wait a bit longer before it can break ground on site.