Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Illegally occupied government land near Yan Shun Lane in Kwun Tong resumed

     The Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment project of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) can proceed to the next stage of work in the near future following the resumption of the land occupied by illegal structures near Yan Shun Lane, Kwun Tong, a government spokesman said today (October 24).

     "The Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment project was announced in 1998 and approved by the Town Planning Board in late 2008/early 2009. According to the original schedule, the government land in the vicinity of Yan Shun Lane should be handed over to the URA for redevelopment by the middle of this year. To this end, the URA has been communicating with the occupiers of more than 30 illegal structures on the land over the resumption arrangements since 2011, and issued an ex-gratia payment to each commercial occupier. The ex-gratia payment has been doubled from the originally proposed $54,620 to $109,240," the spokesman said.

     "Other than the ex-gratia payment, the URA has also obtained the consent of the government departments concerned to enable those eligible persons affected by the land resumption to continue their business in markets managed by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) through 'restricted auctions'. Appropriate arrangements were also made to meet the temporary or long-term housing needs of those with housing difficulties," he said.

     The spokesman said that at the moment almost all affected persons have received either full or partial ex-gratia payment and have returned the illegally occupied land. The clearance deadline, postponed under special permission, had also expired on September 30. However, a few occupiers had yet to move out after the deadline.

     The land resumption exercise is co-ordinated by the FEHD as the Lands Department has allocated the government land near Yan Shun Lane to the FEHD. The illegal structures successfully resumed today were mainly occupied by a racing pigeon vendor, while others were used for storage purposes.

     "Among the commercial operators affected by the land resumption, nine (including the racing pigeon operator) have bid for FEHD stalls to continue their business. The racing pigeon operator has bid for a stall at the Bird Garden in Mong Kok where he can sell pet birds (excluding pigeons), bird feed, bird cages and other accessories. He has accepted the proposal of a special ex-gratia payment offered by the URA and collected part of the payment," the spokesman said.

     At present, pet birds sold in the market are subject to stringent quarantine and import control, and certificates of origin and valid health certificates are required. Since there is a chance of racing pigeons coming into contact with wild birds, consequences would be serious if the pigeons become infected by avian influenza or other highly lethal viruses which may result in re-assortment of viruses and trigger another outbreak infecting the pet birds in other stalls in the Bird Garden. To safeguard public health, the administration therefore will not permit the sale or display of racing pigeons in the Bird Garden.

     "Nevertheless, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has earlier issued an exhibition licence to the racing pigeon operator for keeping pigeons on his premises in Tseung Kwan O," the spokesman said.

Ends/Thursday, October 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 13:45


Print this page