Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ16: Dai Pai Tongs and Hawker Permitted Area

    Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (June 25):


    Regarding hawker management and control, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints relating to "Dai Pai Tongs" received by the authorities in the past three years, with a breakdown by categories of complaints, such as air pollution, noise nuisance, obstruction to public passage, unauthorised expansion of business areas and impact on environmental hygiene, etc.; and among them, the number of substantiated cases, the locations of the "Dai Pai Tongs" involved in such cases and the penalty imposed on the licensees concerned;

(b) given that in reply to my question at the Council meeting on July 4 last year, the Government indicated that it would study how to improve the design of stalls and business environment of the Tung Choi Street Hawker Permitted Places ("Women's Street"), of the improvement measures put in place so far;

(c) given that it has been reported that the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department ("FEHD") admitted that it had reached a consensus with the hawkers at Women's Street that it would, prior to the fire drills conducted by the Fire Services Department at Women's Street, notify the hawkers to remove the objects there, whether FEHD has cancelled such notification arrangement; and

(d) given that in its paper recently submitted to this Council's Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene, the Government has indicated that it is reviewing the policy on hawker licensing, including giving consideration to whether new fixed-pitch hawker licences (including licences for stalls of open-air hawker bazaars and "Dai Pai Tongs") should be re-issued, and it will consult hawker associations and District Councils shortly on its preliminary ideas, of the anticipated time for launching and completing such consultation, whether shop owners or residents affected by Hawker Permitted Places or "Dai Pai Tongs" will be consulted, and when a conclusion will be reached from the review?


Madam President,

(a) At present, there are a total of 28 "Dai Pai Tongs", located respectively in Wan Chai District (3), Central & Western District (10), Islands District (1) and Sham Shui Po District (14).  In the past three years, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) received a total of 308 complaints about the operation of "Dai Pai Tongs" relating to issues such as noise nuisance, street obstruction, unauthorised expansion of business areas and environmental hygiene problems.  After investigation, 211 summonses were issued.  Details are at Annex.

(b) FEHD has held several discussions with hawker representatives of the Tung Choi Street Hawker Permitted Area (HPA) (or commonly known as "Women's Street") on how to improve the design of their stalls and display of commodities so as to improve the streetscape and overall business environment of the HPA.  A consensus was reached between FEHD and the hawkers' associations that the design of the hawker stalls -

(1) should not pose fire hazard nor obstruct fire engine access to the HPA;

(2) should not cause environmental hygiene nuisance, obstruct air circulation nor cause serious blockage of natural light;

(3) should allow adequate space for pedestrian access, so as to prevent causing adverse impact to the business environment of the stalls and shops in the neighbourhood; and

(4) should be standardised as much as possible, so as to improve the overall streetscape.

    Through concerted efforts, the design of the hawker stalls in the HPA has been improved.  There is now no serious obstruction to the emergency vehicular access.  The tests on fire engine access to the HPA conducted by the Fire Services Department (FSD) recently revealed satisfactory results.  FEHD will continue to hold discussions with the relevant hawker associations, with a view to further improving the business environment of "Women's Street".

(c) Before July 2007, when FSD sent fire engines to "Women's Street" for access testing, it would notify FEHD in advance on the same day of the test, so that FEHD could help maintain order in the HPA.

    This notification arrangement was cancelled by FSD in July 2007.  In addition, FEHD has repeatedly reminded the hawkers at "Women's Street" that if fire engines have to enter the HPA for operational or test purposes, they should promptly remove any frames and objects of their stalls that may cause obstruction.  FSD considers the recent test results of fire engine access to "Women's Street" satisfactory.

(d) The Administration will shortly consult the District Councils (DCs) and stakeholders (including hawker associations) on the preliminary proposals for the review on hawker licensing policy.  As stated in our paper submitted to the Legislative Council earlier this month, in view of the close impact that may be caused by hawker policy to districts and the fact that DCs have better understanding of the local situation and the needs of residents in that district, we propose to strengthen the role of DCs in terms of hawker licensing and hawker bazaar management at the district level.  The relevant DCs could advise the Administration after having regard to the specific circumstances of the district and the residents' aspirations.

    After consulting DCs and the relevant organisations, we will collate and summarise all the views received.  The review is expected to complete by the end of the 2008/09 financial year.

Ends/Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Issued at HKT 16:24


Print this page