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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:09 AM   #41
hkskyline
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Opinion : Three concepts for Kai Tak are virtually identical
19 November 2005
South China Morning Post

During the launch presentation of three outline concept plans for Kai Tak at the Town Planning Board, chairwoman Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan, permanent secretary for housing, planning and lands, said the review was "historic", as "it is the first time a planning project has begun with a blank paper" ("Land grab may be needed off old airport runway", November 10).

This is complete nonsense. The three concepts for Kai Tak are identical, as all are dominated by the same cruise terminal, sports stadium, metro park, hospital, Sha Tin-Central rail depot and roads sought by the government. They were all kept in despite questions from the public and members of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee (HEC). The questions, "why required", "who are they for", "why Kai Tak", "what supporting facilities", "how much land" and "what development model", have yet to be answered in each case.

Not surprisingly, board members have now raised similar concerns. The "concept plans" are merely allocations of land to different departments, resulting in an inefficient use of scarce harbourfront land. The key developments are surrounded by roads and high-intensity commercial and residential developments inappropriate for the location.

The proposed stadium is fully enclosed and a windowless cultural centre is situated on 23 hectares of prime waterfront. If the centre is needed at all, why not integrate it with the park? Make the centre "open", providing stunning vistas across the harbour. It is unclear that Kai Tak is the best location for a cruise terminal. Cruise-line guests require convenient access to a major airport and city-centre facilities. The tip of the old Kai Tak runway could not be further away. This creates much vehicle movement along the narrow runway and through areas of Kowloon whose roads are already at capacity. West Kowloon, with its highway and rail links and proximity to cultural and hospitality facilities, continues to be excluded.

The concepts are misleading. The four-lane highway needed for the transfer of passengers, engine parts, cleaning crews, food and sewage ends in a green park rather than the yard, rail depot, warehousing, customs, immigration, retail and hotel facilities required for a three-berth cruise terminal.

More disturbing is that the concepts fail to take harbour planning principles into account. The highway is right next to the waterfront, not unlike the Island Eastern Corridor. And none of the land uses along the Kai Tak waterfront are designed to enhance the use of the harbour.

Other than the cruise terminal itself, there are no land-water interfaces, such as marinas, landings, water sports facilities or a relocation of breakwaters. That these require support on the seabed - reclamation - cannot be any excuse. Keeping our harbour a "living harbour" and "an economic asset" are overriding public needs.

By ignoring the advice of HEC members, the government has wasted a year. If these concepts are all there is to show for senior officials' time and effort, is it not time to change the process and the players?

PAUL ZIMMERMAN, convenor, Designing Hong Kong Harbour District
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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:13 AM   #42
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I wish that i could read those proposals, the look pretty interesting.

But is the project still a go? I guess it's pretty iffey from the looks of those articles?
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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:23 AM   #43
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The project will happen, but the details are still uncertain. There is a lot of public interest nowadays regarding these large-scale projects, and the level of community activism has been unprecedented. The issue is not if it will happen, but a matter of what will happen and when.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:52 AM   #44
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OK, that's good that it will happen, I can't wait to see some more.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:30 PM   #45
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For larger versions of these files, you can download the originals at :
http://www.globalphotos.org/hongkong/kt.zip















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Old December 2nd, 2005, 11:37 PM   #46
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LCQ2: Stage 2 Public Participation Programme for Kai Tak Planning Review
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (November 30):

Question:

Early this month, the Government launched the Stage 2 Public Participation Programme for the Kai Tak Planning Review and prepared three draft Outline Concept Plans ("OCPs") to facilitate the public to put forth their views. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that the Government had conducted the Development Statement Study concerned in as early as 1993 and various opinions and suggestions had been collected since then, of the reasons for preparing only three OCPs for consideration by the public and allowing only two months for public consultation;

(b) why the cultural and heritage features of the district have not been emphasized in the three OCPs; and

(c) where the public object to the three OCPs or submit new planning proposals, whether it will launch a comprehensive planning exercise and public consultation afresh?

Reply:

Madam President,

In light of the judgment handed down by the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) in January 2004, which interpreted the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance and ruled that any reclamation project within the Harbour must meet the "overriding public need" test, we have reviewed the reclamation projects with the Victoria Harbour. We have also joined hands with the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee to use a new model to engage the public in reviewing the ways to enhance these reclamation areas. The public engagement programme is broadly divided into three stages: Stage 1 engages the public in concept formulation and envisioning; Stage 2 engages the public in consensus building of preliminary developments, and formulating draft outline concept plans (OCPs); and Stage 3 engages the public in formulating preliminary development plan, which will provide input to the detailed planning in the future to facilitate implementation of the developments in accordance with statutory process. The Kai Tak Planning Review is one of the projects being carried out according to the above model of public engagement.

As regards the three-part question, my reply is as follows:

(a) The Government started planning for the future development of the Kai Tak Airport site in the early 1990s. The Government completed the Comprehensive Feasibility Study for the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development in 2001. The Study proposes a total development area of 460 hectares, including about 133 hectares of reclaimed land. The relevant proposals were incorporated into the statutory Kai Tak (South) and Kai Tak (North) Outline Zoning Plans in mid-2001, which were approved by the Chief Executive in Council in June 2002.

In light of CFA's judgment in January 2004, we launched a comprehensive planning and engineering review of the project in mid-2004 and launched the Stage 1 Public Participation Programme in late 2004.

Public engagement in the Kai Tak Planning Review is an on-going process. Although the consultation for the current Stage 2 Public Participation Programme will last only two months, the three OCPs drawn up for public consultation are based on the valuable views and suggestions collected during the public engagement activities in Stage 1. Views collected during the Stage 2 exercise will also serve as input for the preparation of a Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) in Stage 3. Public opinion is therefore always taken into account in various stages of the Kai Tak Planning Review.

(b) One of the major considerations in formulating the OCPs is to preserve and pay tribute to the history of Kai Tak Airport and Kowloon City District. All three OCPs seek to highlight the aviation history of Kai Tak by bringing into play the "Kai Tak Promenade/Boulevard" Concept. For instance, in OCP1, Kai Tak Boulevard, with distinctive historical features designed to remind the public of the former airport runway, is aligned next to the Kai Tak Approach Channel. In OCP2 and OCP3, the 50m wide waterfront promenade, designed with historical collections of Kai Tak, seeks to preserve the unique cultural characteristics of the runway. In addition, all three OCPs propose to incorporate a runway park with facilities of an aviation theme at the tip of the runway and a new Sung Wong Toi Park next to the Olympic Avenue to remind the public of the Sung Wong Toi historical site. Further studies will be conducted to see how these concepts correlate with other heritage sites in Kowloon City.

(c) The three OCPs serve to facilitate public comments. They are not intended to be options from which the public may choose the one they prefer. When preparing the PODP, we will take into account public comments on the various features and concepts of the three OCPs as well as any other relevant views. Then, we will embark on the Stage 3 Public Participation Programme and join hands with the public in taking forward the Kai Tak development plan.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 02:16 AM   #47
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I hope that Dragon Ball Tower gets built.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #48
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it is alright but it is a bit over the top
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Old December 4th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #49
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what the **** is the dragon ball tower
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Old December 7th, 2005, 01:54 AM   #50
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Shelving of Kai Tak runway draws fire

The government came under fire Tuesday after confirming it has ruled out a proposal to build a runway as part of the Kai Tak redevelopment plan.

Leslie Kwoh
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The government came under fire Tuesday after confirming it has ruled out a proposal to build a runway as part of the Kai Tak redevelopment plan.

"We had already considered the possibility of building a runway during the first phase of public consultation," Anthony Kwan, Assistant Director of Planning, Metro and Urban Renewal at the Planning Department, told a public consultation forum.

"But after conducting a detailed study, we decided not to include a runway," he said.

The statement infuriated Save Kai Tak campaign chairman and retired pilot Francis Chin, who has been pushing for a general aviation runway on the old airport site in addition to a planned cruise ship terminal.

"Hong Kong is not just about cruises or maritime," Chin told the forum. "General aviation is also important, and we need a runway for short- distance flights in the Pearl River Delta region, which Chek Lap Kok airport cannot provide."

Kwan argued that building a runway would lead to safety issues and noise pollution. After Kai Tak airport closed in 1998, buildings in the area were no longer subject to height restrictions, Kwan explained. Consequently, taller structures in the area would make it dangerous for planes to navigate, he said.

He also claimed that local residents are concerned about potential noise pollution from planes. "Aren't you planning to build a heliport at Kai Tak anyway?" Chin retorted.

Chin warned the public to be cautious about a cruise terminal.

"Cruiseships are not like `pieces of art,' they are like monsters," he said, refuting a statement made earlier by a cruise industry representative. "They are noisy and smelly and they will lead to pollution."

Others attending the forum accused the administration of rushing the decision-making process and not providing alternative site choices.

"This is an unfair consultation," said associate professor of civil and structural engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Wing-tat. "There should be at least two options, otherwise it's not a real consultation."

Paul Zimmerman, convenor of Designing Hong Kong Harbour District, urged the forum to consider other options, including West Kowloon, Hung Hom, North Point, and an upgrade of Ocean Terminal. Building a cruise terminal at Kai Tak, he said, would be robbing the public of access to the harborfront.

Kai Tak was chosen from the original list of 36 sites because it was the only one that could provide enough space for two to three berths, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Maisie Cheng told the forum.

"We will go ahead with Kai Tak unless any feasible alternatives are introduced," she said. "We are lagging. This debate has been going on for 10 years."

The administration revealed its three concept plans for the site in mid- October. Though the plans emphasize different themes - residential, business and recreational - they share several main features, including a 45,000 capacity stadium, a waterfront promenade and a cruise terminal.

Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in 2008 and will be completed by 2011, at the earliest.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #51
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Reclamation not ruled out as answer to Kai Tak odors
Andrea Chiu
9 December 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Strong odors at the site of the former airport caused by polluted sediment can be covered up by reclaiming the Kai Tak approach channel, the Planning Department said at a forum, indicating it has not ruled out reclamation for the redevelopment. "We will only do reclamation if alternative methods are not available," said Assistant Director of Planning Anthony Kwan, in charge of metro district planning and urban renewal.

"At this point, there is no adequate data to support the need for reclamation. But [if we find otherwise] we'll need to be very careful and seek legal advice," he said Thursday.

In January last year, the Court of Final Appeal rejected reclamation at a Wan Chai site and said this should only occur in the harbor if there is an overriding public need.

Kai Tak project redevelopment consultant Eric Ma said a possible alternative to reclamation is in-situ capping that isolates harmful substances. This will allow the pollutants to break down naturally overtime.

But he said this method can destroy the seabed and that "the cost will be high because it requires millions of meters of cement."

Another mitigation measure being considered is to improve water circulation by opening a 600-meter gap at the runway, Ma said.

Currently, the site is home to a driving range and landfill but has been generally unused since the opening of Hong Kong International Airport in 1998.

Many members of the public spoke out against the idea of reclamation.

Student Fung Chee-sing said he is against reclamation because it is permanent. "We can't turn it around," he said, urging the department to be patient and to find another method to get rid of the odor. "Technology is improving all the time. We make leaps and bounds."

Kowloon City District Councilor Chan Lai-kwan said there is an overriding need for reclamation because the odor will be very bad for future residents in the area.

She said the contaminated sediments will flow into adjacent neighborhoods and urged the department to take action.

But another man, who gave only his family name Chong, urged the planners to reclaim land. "We must optimize the approach channel," he said. "If someone says they oppose reclamation, I oppose that person."

Conservancy Association chief executive Lister Cheung stressed the need for thorough research.

"I don't have a fixed stance, but we need to find a solution together."

The department unveiled its three concept plans for the site in October. Each plan emphasizes residential, business or recreational use for the site but all have room for a 45,000-capacity stadium, waterfront promenade and a cruise terminal.

Discussions on the use of the old runway continued for a third day Thursday, when advocates spoke in support of allowing small aircraft to return to the site.

The redevelopment project is scheduled to break ground in 2008 and will be completed by 2011 at the earliest.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:04 PM   #52
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any update?
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Old December 21st, 2005, 05:37 PM   #53
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White elephant fears for Kai Tak sports stadium
Leslie Kwoh
21 December 2005
Hong Kong Standard

As the second phase of public consultation for the Kai Tak development project draws to a close, lawmakers are stepping up pressure on the government to reconsider plans for the site's new 45,000-capacity sports stadium, which they fear will quickly become a white elephant.

"I'm concerned the new stadium will suffer the same fate as Hong Kong Stadium, and once it is built it won't be used,'' agriculture and fisheries sector lawmaker Wong Yung-kan said Tuesday at a presentation by the panel on planning lands and works on its findings following two months of public consultation. Wong was referring to the HK$1 billion complex which opened in 1994 but failed to fulfill the administration's promises of hosting world-class sports venues and concerts when residents in the surrounding area complained of noise.

However, Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs Eddie Poon insisted that the new stadium will not have the same problem, pointing out that plans for the complex include a retractable roof which will reduce noise disruption to the surrounding areas.

The stadium will also be patronized regularly by residents living in developments in front of the stadium, added Deputy Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Robin Ip.

But lawmakers were not convinced. Medical legislator Kwok Ka-ki said that as only wealthy locals could afford to live in the new residential developments, the stadium will only attract a sliver of the population.

In addition, Kwok said population estimates for the development site have greatly decreased from the government's original figure in 1998, when it projected that Kai Tak could house 300,000 residents. The current population estimates range from 69,000 to 128,000, depending on the concept.

Other lawmakers raised concerns about the stadium's aesthetics.

"I don't think any civilized city would put such a big stadium in the city center,'' independent lawmaker Albert Chan said. ``The government is passing a death sentence on Hong Kong, and it is stifling the vitality of the city.''

Choy So-yuk of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong agreed, comparing the "unwieldy'' complex with Pacific Place and Festival Walk, which she said have taken away from Hong Kong's character. "When I'm inside those places, I can't tell whether I'm in the United States or Hong Kong,'' she said.

Poon responded by saying that the stadium will be an excellent opportunity for Hong Kong to popularize sports among locals and be recognized as a sports center in Asia.

But Kwok countered by pointing out that world-class athletes are not plentiful in Hong Kong, and thus building such a stadium may be premature.

"We should be practical, we shouldn't have this mental complex that Hong Kong has to be number one in sports in Asia,'' he said. "Don't pull the wool over the public's eyes.''

Kwok also said that the presentation, while "impressive,'' was "very scary'' in that it resembled "an ad pitch by Li Ka-shing.''

The administration unveiled three concept plans for the site last month, all of which include a sports stadium, a cruise terminal and a waterfront promenade. Total project costs and a timetable have not yet been disclosed, however a Home Affairs Bureau spokeswoman said the stadium will cost about US$6,690 (HK$52,182) per seat and will not be completed until 2015, at the earliest.

The panel will launch its third phase of public consultation and hopes to complete a preliminary outline development plan by mid next year.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:21 PM   #54
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December 31, 2005
6 suggestions received on cruise terminal

The Government has received six suggestions for Development of a new cruise terminal in Hong Kong in response to an expressions of interest exercise, the Economic Development & Labour Bureau says.

Welcoming the response, the bureau said it showed that the market had keen interest in the development of the cruise industry.

The Government had set up an inter-departmental working group to examine the suggestions received, based on the requirements set in the Invitation Document.

If Government could identify a suggestion or suggestions that could meet all its requirements, it would conduct an in-depth study on the location, follow established planning procedures and put the site to tender after public consultation.

If there are no suggestions that meet requirements, the Government will not consider any sites other than Kai Tak and will strive to expedite the development of a new cruise terminal there.

In the long run, the Government considers the Kai Tak area, which is within Victoria Harbour and has expansion capability, the ideal location for the development of cruise terminal facilities.

It intends to reserve a site at Kai Tak for the project in order to cater for the long-term needs of Hong Kong.

The development of a cruise terminal was proposed in the Kai Tak Planning Review and the Planning Department is consulting the public on the review.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #55
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South China Morning Post
January 4, 2006
Rebuke for talking up sport at Kai Tak
Critics accuse official of jumping the gun by claiming broad support for stadiums idea when public consultation isn't over
May Chan

The government has misled the public by claiming there is widespread support for building sports facilities at Kai Tak when consultation on proposals for developing the former airport site has not even ended, critics said yesterday.

A senior Planning Department official also poured cold water on the suggestion from a Home Affairs Bureau official.

Members of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee criticised Eddie Poon Tai-ping, Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, for claiming the "sports by the harbour" development model had won general support. Sixty written submissions have been received during the consultation.

Three concept plans have been put forward by the government, each with a different emphasis - one on residential development, another on tourism and a third on sports facilities. All feature a cruise terminal, sports stadium and park.

The sports model includes two stadiums - one with 45,000 seats, the other 5,000 seats - various recreational facilities and homes for 69,000 people.

"The proposal is widely supported by the business sector, district councils and the public," said Mr Poon during a radio interview.

"However, the stadiums won't be ready before 2010 because it takes four to five years to confirm the details on design, construction and operation. The government has yet to discuss whether the private sector should be involved in construction and operation [of the facilities], and measures to increase incomes for stadiums," he said.

Kim Chan Kim-on, a representative of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners on the harbour committee panel considering Kai Tak's redevelopment, said the government was being presumptuous.

"The consultation has not closed. It is misleading for the Home Affairs Bureau to draw such a premature conclusion," Mr Chan pointed out.

He said the sports development model was doomed to fail because of the lack of long-term support for sport, including subsidies for training and for sports-related industries and a holistic plan for sports facilities in Hong Kong.

Vincent Ng Wing-shun, of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, who also sits on the panel, said it was improper for the Home Affairs Bureau to make such comments.

"It is not in a position to comment on the consultation, which is organised by the Planning Department," Mr Ng said.

Raymond Lee Kai-wing, Kowloon district planning officer, said submissions under the consultation had not shown general support for any of the three concept plans. "Many in the sports community and district councils are generally supportive of the idea of building a multi-purpose stadium in Kai Tak," Mr Li said.

"However, the consultation is not meant for the public to choose one of the three concept plans. It is difficult to say which plan the public prefers."

A Home Affairs Bureau spokeswoman said Mr Poon's comments were not based on submissions about the proposals, but on observations from consultations with businesses and within districts.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #56
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Miracle mushroom clears toxins dirt cheap $160m for Kai Tak cleanup? Fungus could do it for $500,000
8 January 2006
South China Morning Post

A common mushroom served on dinner tables every day can destroy toxins in the heavily contaminated soil of places like the old Kai Tak airport, scientists have proved.

According to Chiu Siu-wai, associate professor at Chinese University, the waste produced by the phoenix oyster mushroom - a popular item in wet markets and supermarkets - can destroy organic contaminants, heavy metals and the pesticide DDT.

Professor Chiu said that if the government used her technique for the Kai Tak airport cleanup, it would have cost $500,000 instead of the $160 million spent so far.

When mushrooms are grown, a large quantity of soil and waste is left after the harvest - only a fifth of the nutrients are used. As a result a lot of enzymes are left over.

"We found that this waste and the leftover enzymes could be used to break down toxins. You only need one portion to every 99 portions of contaminated soil. It can be used on dry land as well as on the mud at the bottom of the ocean," she said.

"You can put the waste on top of the contaminated soil or mix it in if you want to speed things up. The left-over, dried-up spores work their way down and eat the garbage, while the enzymes break down the contaminants."

The process takes about one-third the time of existing techniques and is so cheap that Professor Chiu competed the research and testing without government or private grants.

"Mushroom cultivators pay people $150 to ship each truck of waste to the dump. So if you asked them for it, they would give it to you almost for free."

She has just completed her first large cleanup at an old shipyard in Tsing Yi for Gammon Construction. The soil in the yard facing Rambler Channel was full of organic and heavy-metal contaminants. Andrew Kwan Ming-tak,

senior project manager at Gammon, said: "There were some very stubborn contaminants. We contacted many universities but decided to work with Professor Chiu. We cleaned 150,000 tonnes of soil and it was 100 per cent successful. We are very happy.

"This can save us a lot of time and money in similar future projects. I think the need to clean up contaminated soil and seabed mud will only increase in the future."

The Kai Tak cleanup - to get rid of toxic carcinogenic contaminants caused by decades of pouring aviation fuel, petrol, paint, sump oil, antifreeze and other toxics in the soil - began in March 2000 after the government decided to redevelop the site.

Last November officials said the Kai Tak nullah - heavily polluted by heavy metals and organic contaminants - might have to be reclaimed if a cheap and effective way to clean it up could not be found.

Professor Chiu said: "The technique they have been using involves pumping air, water and nutrients into the soil - a very expensive process - so that the existing organisms can grow and eat the pollutants. But they don't realise that the organisms existing in soil may not be appropriate for the job.

"If they give me samples of the soil at the nullah now, I could do it for free."

The Civil Engineering and Development Department said: "We always welcome clean up proposals from interested parties and are open to consider any technique proven to be suitable, practicable, safe and cost-effective.

"We are conducting bioremediation [by injection of calcium nitrate] to clean the channel bed. We could not rule out reclaiming."
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #57
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Cool Mushrooms!!! Haha... Too busy to come on SSC in the past week... oops!!!
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Anymore????
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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:19 AM   #58
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #59
hkskyline
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Early run for Kai Tak stadium
Winnie Chong
4 January 2006
Hong Kong Standard

The government is pushing ahead by five years the estimated completion of the proposed HK$2 billion 45,000-seat multi-purpose stadium at the former Kai Tak airport site.

While in line with Chief Executive Donald Tsang's recent pledge to kickstart long stagnating plans, the move has aroused concern that rushing the project might lead to another West Kowloon- type imbroglio.

Eddie Poon, principal assistant secretary for Home Affairs, disclosed Tuesday the stadium, which is expected to break ground in 2008, might be completed as early as 2010. Poon did not say what might happen to the Hong Kong Stadium in So Kon Po other than highlighting ``it had a lot of limitations'' that led to ``a low usage rate.''

But, as revealed by The Standard in October, the site will be sold off for luxury residential development, with the earnings earmarked for the new ``Sports City'' concept envisioned by Tsang, who wants to turn Kai Tak into a world- class sports venue.

This was hinted at by Poon, who noted that in the ongoing consultation on the 133-hectare former airport site, a majority of those who gave their views were in support of a mildly populated sports-focused development.

The consultation, which began in October and ends later this month, put forward three concept plans.

While all three plans included a stadium complex, a cruise terminal and a waterfront promenade, two proposals laid a greater emphasis on commercial and residential development, allotting housing for up to 128,000 people.

In what the government labeled the ``Sports by the Harbour'' plan, only 69,000 people will live around a 24-hectare stadium complex, which will feature a world-class venue _ likely covered by a retractable roof _ a 5,000-seat supplementary sports ground and an indoor sports complex with swimming pools for daily recreational use.

But critics worry that laying a timetable for a project that has yet to be drawn up or receive the public's tacit approval risks igniting the kind of explosive opposition that has so far held down plans for the West Kowloon cultural district.

Vincent Ng, chairman of the government appointed Harbourfront Enhancement Committee's harbor plan review sub-committee, shares those fears.

He warned: ``Being so hurried, the government will not have time to think and plan thoroughly.''

Kwok Ka-ki, medical sector lawmaker and spokesman for Action Group for Protection of the Harbour, contended that the government has not granted enough time for the Legislative Council to discuss the proposals.

He said this is despite the fact that many lawmakers have expressed reservations that all three concept plans include the stadium.

Kwok also questioned whether Hong Kong needs a world-class stadium, which, he fears, might become a ``white elephant'' like the HK$1 billion venue in So Kon Po. The stadium, which was completed in 1994, hosts only a few high-profile events because of severe noise restrictions.

``What we need is sports training and development,'' he said.

Critics also wonder why the rushed project will not be completed in time to host the 2009 East Asian Games.

Patrick Lau, Architectural, Surveying and Planning sector legislator and vice chairman of the Town Planning Board, called the mistiming ``strange,'' ``paradoxical,'' and ``not ideal.''

Lau also hoped that there will be more consultation on whether a stadium is best suited for Kai Tak, which is slated for tens of thousands of residents.

The administration has been under pressure to provide new facilities for elite athletes as a result of the decision to close Sha Tin's Hong Kong Sports Institute to make way for equestrian events, which will be held here as part of the 2008 Olympics.

The Kai Tak site, which currently houses a small golf course and a mountain of landfill, has been largely unused since the airport moved to Chek Lap Kok in July 1998 and its fate has been debated for years.

A plan to use it for a vast sports complex has been discussed since the city first decided to move the airport in the early 1990s.

Poon said in the next six months the government will study financing, operations, and design issues.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #60
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... Wow that's dreadful. A 45,000 seat stadium? WHY??? There's a great 40,000 seat stadium across the Harbour!!!
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