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LCQ3: Impacts of Express Rail Link works on nearby sites and buildings

     Following is a question by the Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (April 16):


     The initial and tunnel boring works of the project to construct the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (the XRL Project) commenced in 2009. In connection with the impacts of such works on nearby sites and buildings, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) the number of reports or complaints about the occurrence of land subsidence, or problems of settlement, water seepage or other damages of buildings, in the vicinity of the construction sites of the XRL Project received by the authorities since 2009; among the buildings concerned, of the respective numbers of public facilities, private properties and structures of other categories (set out in table form);

(2) among the reports or complaints in (1), of the number of those cases in which the problems concerned have been proved to be related to the XRL Project, together with a breakdown by category of buildings (set out in table form); and

(3) for each case in (2), of the party responsible for meeting the costs of repair works for solving the problems (including salaries for works supervisory staff); if such costs were paid out of public coffers, of the reasons for that; if they were paid in advance by the Government pending recovery from the MTR Corporation Limited subsequently, of the amounts so recovered (set out in table form)?


     My consolidated reply to the three parts of Hon James To's question is as follows:

     The Government and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) have all along attached much importance to the construction impact of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) on the structural safety of nearby facilities and buildings. During construction, the MTRCL has set up a number of monitoring points at relevant buildings and locations near the XRL alignment to monitor the environmental impact, including noise and vibration, of the XRL works. The data so collected will be submitted to the government departments concerned for scrutiny to ensure compliance with statutory requirements. According to the monitoring results, the XRL project has not caused any undesirable impact on the surroundings. The MTRCL will keep a close watch over the construction works carried out by contractors and the impact of the works on the vicinity. Appropriate mitigation measures will be implemented to minimise the impact on the neighborhood.

     Up to February 2014, the MTRCL has received a total of 263 damage reports, including reports of alleged damages to buildings and other losses. None of them is related to structural integrity or structural safety of buildings. Most cases have been reviewed by an independent loss adjuster and found to be not related to the XRL project. While 16 cases have been settled with the owners concerned, the remaining ones are being reviewed and followed up by the MTRCL. Details are set out in Annex.

     Details of the cases, which contain information of individual parties, will not be disclosed to protect the privacy of the parties concerned. Payments will be settled by the contractors and the insurance coverage under respective contracts.

     The Government will continue to urge the MTRCL to monitor the situation of nearby buildings, and if necessary, implement appropriate measures to ensure public safety and minimise the construction impact on residents in the vicinity.

Ends/Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:33


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