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Old January 25th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #441
hkskyline
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I'd imagine the residents are more concerned that their homes are being razed than the construction workers not being able to work.

Show respect, rail line protesters urged
24 January 2011
The Standard







A union has urged protesters to show respect for construction workers just trying to do their jobs in the controversial takeover of village land for Hong Kong's express rail link to the mainland.

The call came after 11 workers and security guards were said to have been hurt in a confrontation with protesters at Choi Yuen Tsuen on Thursday.

The village has to make way for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Activist Chu Hoi-dick, 33, of the Choi Yuen Tsuen Concern Group complained to police about an alleged attack by an MTR Corp security guard during the protest at Choi Yuen Tsuen.

But the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union said workers are complaining about trouble slowing progress _ and affecting their earnings _ as protesters show up repeatedly at the site.

Workers and guards who sustain minor injuries need up to four days of sick leave, union chairman Chow Luen- kiu said.

Protesters tried to climb on a bulldozer to prevent it from demolishing huts and clambered over hoardings at village sites. ``The hoardings are temporary and not secured yet,'' structural engineer Dennis Lee Tsan-kui said. ``Pushing them could result in collapse and be dangerous to workers and protesters.''

Union member Yim Kong-shing _ a registered site safety officer _ demanded intervention by police and Labour Department officials as trespassing on construction sites without safety gear breaches regulations.

Casual construction worker Li Wing, 63, spoke of being told last week there would be no more work at the site after he had been there for about 10 days.

``We were told to avoid conflict with protesters,'' Li said. ``So we stopped when they rushed toward us, but the boss was unhappy we did not manage to demolish a house.''

The union, affiliated to the pro- Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, appealed to the contractor and police to protect workers.

But concern group spokeswoman Ko Chun-heung said protesters did not violate any construction rules as they were in a public place.

``Every day we speak to the villagers, to the security guards and the workers that we are in the same boat,'' she said.

``We are from the grassroots too. It's regrettable the injuries happened.''

Police have recorded a complaint of assault lodged by the protesters but no arrests have been made.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #442
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Mindless Choi Yuen clash
The Standard
Monday, January 24, 2011

What happened last week at the Express Rail Link work site - where protesters clashed with workers - was absurd and unnecessary.

First, there was the incident of conservation activist Chu Hoi-dick falling to the ground in Sheung Shui's Choi Yuen Tsuen village. He ended up with stitches for injuries to his neck and waist.

The concern group released an edited video clip to back its claim that Chu was hurt after a worker pushed him down. But a full length of the clip made available later showed the fall was preceded by a struggle between the two.

Both filed police reports claiming they were attacked in the incident.

Then, a construction workers' general union revealed 11 workers were injured in the Thursday confrontation. Yesterday, the union released another video clip showing how the protesters attempted dangerously to stop a bulldozer by surrounding and climbing onto it, although the equipment was moving.

I'm sure the protesters had no intention of committing suicide, but I'm less certain whether they realized the danger of encroaching on a bulldozer that was using its long metal arm to put down a cottage house. Whatever their causes, protesters should avoid doing anything to place themselves in harm's way.

I wonder whose responsibility it would be in the event the protesters were injured by the machine.

The protesters included villagers and outside activists. Some may find it baffling because what villagers received in compensation was the most generous in recent memory - simply dwarfing similar payouts for other projects.

A woman protester admitted she got HK$10 million, but participated to support others who did not. That sounds weird since, in compensation, there are bound to be a basis for calculating the sum - no matter how generous a package is designed to be.

However, there was a greater concern in the incident. To enable work to progress smoothly, the government deployed police to maintain law and order. But we heard Chu is accusing the police of not intervening to save him from injury. Then we heard the union is complaining the police failed to step in to prevent protesters from confronting workers.

Had the police separated the two parties, injuries may have been avoided. Why didn't police act? Perhaps they didn't want to anger rights groups and be accused of cracking down on protests. Therefore, the officers exercised the maximum degree of restraint and allowed the protesters and workers to scuffle with each other.

It should never be like that in the first place. Clearly, there is a strong case for Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai- hung to review the non-intervention tactics, and tell his officers to put up a wall to separate the protesters and workers, so that demonstrators can continue to protest peacefully, and workers can carry on with their duty in a safe environment.

High-speed trains have been in service for some time in the mainland.

It's important for Hong Kong to catch up by ensuring the construction of the Express Rail Link gets on track without delay.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #443
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Government had not recovered Choi Yuen Tsuen's structures by force up to now
Monday, January 24, 2011
Government Press Release

In response to media enquiries on the construction progress of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), a spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said today (January 24) that since mid-October 2010, the Government had launched phased land resumption in Choi Yuen Tsuen (CYT) by firstly taking possession of structures from villagers who had moved out as well as agricultural sites and vacated lands, with a view to implementing the construction works for the XRL project.

“Up till now, all recovered structures were vacated ones which were handed over voluntarily by villagers who had moved out; and all recovered land were either those which had always been Government Land or were granted compensation,” the spokesman said.

On the allegation that the Government had forced villagers to move out CYT, the spokesman stressed that the Government had not forcefully taken possession of any structure which was still being resided by the villagers over the past three months. The MTR Corporation and its contractor have been carrying out preparatory works for the rail project on the recovered land, such as building hoarding and temporary site office and other related facilities. So far, the contractor has only commenced works on the recovered land, and not on any structure which is still being occupied by the villagers. Same with today's works at CYT, the contractor was only building hoarding to protect its site office, without affecting any villagers.

The objective of phased land resumption is to minimise the impact on the construction progress of the XRL project while allowing the villagers with more time to complete their moving plans. “We are regretted that the villagers have not cooperated with us. Some villagers who are still residing in CYT, together with other parties, have repeatedly trespassed into the construction sites, posing risks to their own and other people's safety, and obstructed the contractor's works, such as hoarding erection. The construction of the rail project was obstructed,” he said.

“In the face of such irresponsible behaviour and interferences, the contractor has but to step up security to protect the workers and facilities at the work site so as to enable the workers to continue their work. These have been widely covered by the media over the past few months.”

“We call on all relevant parties to observe the law. Unauthorised people are not allowed to enter the construction site of rail projects and should not damage the facilities of the work site. Otherwise, they will not only risk their own safety, but also will be legally liable.”

Up to now, the Government has already taken possession of about 85% of land in CYT. Among the remaining non-recovered parts, most are occupied by the structures of villagers who have opted for the collective agricultural resite plan. The Government understood that although they have purchased a piece of farmland, negotiation over the road access issue is not concluded as both parties have yet to reach an agreement on the specific terms. As the negotiation involved their respective financial interests, the Government could not intervene and could only allow as much time as possible for the villagers to continue the negotiation, provided that the construction works of the XRL will not be adversely affected.

“We have to make it clear that the grace period cannot be extended indefinitely. We call on the villagers to grasp time to focus on their road access right and home construction issues and do not waste their energy in obstructing the rail construction works anymore,” the spokesman said.

The construction work of the XRL project was authorised by the Executive Council and its funding application was approved by the Legislative Council in early 2010. The Government had to resume 27 hectares of land lots near CYT for construction of emergency rescue station and stabling siding. To compensate some 400 CYT villagers affected by the land resumption, the Government had in total approved $250 million, including around $160 million of land compensation, $70 million of ex-gratia rehousing allowances, and $13 million of ex-gratia crops allowances, for the villagers to arrange for their new lives. The ownership right of all the land in CYT now returned to the Government in accordance with law.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #444
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Actually those villagers are being civilized, in mainland cities those land seizure battles can be as intense as a night time raid in Kabul.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:53 AM   #445
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Police chief regrets handling of protest
27 January 2011
SCMP

The police chief yesterday was regretful that officers at Tsoi Yuen Tsuen were unable to respond to a scuffle in time on Thursday.

Commissioner for Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung made the comments after police completed a review of the incident.

Activists accused officers of doing nothing when protestors scuffled with contractors who moved in to resume land in the village, which is being razed to make way for the high-speed railway to Guangzhou.

At yesterday's security panel meeting, Lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee criticised police for their handling of the incident in which activist Chu Hoi-dick scuffled with a worker at a barrier.

Tsang admitted that the actions of police were not perfect on the day. The police review showed that no demonstration area was set up and that protestors were allowed to move freely over a large area.

"Officers were not able to see what happened, therefore they were unable to respond in time," he said.

"Police are fully aware of their responsibility to intervene whenever a crime occurs."

He said officers were under orders to maintain public order and safety.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 12:58 AM   #446
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:55 PM   #447
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Legal team to assist villagers in road row
Lawmaker comes to aid of Tsoi Yuen families

27 January 2011
South China Morning Post

Barrister and lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee has thrown her support behind the villagers of Tsoi Yuen and is putting together a team of legal experts to explore what road access rights they are entitled to at their new village site.

The 47 Tsoi Yuen families are locked in a desperate struggle between MTR bulldozers at their old village and hostile indigenous villagers banning them from using an existing road to the site of their new village.

The families cannot start building their new homes unless they pay the other villagers an "access fee" of HK$5 million.

This, the Tsoi Yuen villagers said, was the reason for their recent clash with MTR workers and police, as they fear their old homes will be demolished before the new village is built.

"We are exploring all possibilities that will give the villagers road access," said Mirana May Szeto, a supporter of the Tsoi Yuen villagers and an assistant professor of literature at the University of Hong Kong.

Szeto wouldn't say if those options included legal action. The academic also called on executive councillor and Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat and his son Kenneth Lau Ip-keung to let the villagers meet the person in charge of the road.

"While there are a number of people who claim they are ultimately in charge of the road, they only speak through Lau and his son, Kenneth," Szeto said. "The demands [for fees] keep changing and the new villagers don't know which one is the final demand. We want to meet whoever is responsible face to face."

Ng said the group would explore all solutions. "The villagers are very keen to move to the new village," she said. "But they are being manoeuvred into buying a piece of land with no vehicular access. We are studying the case to see how we can help."

The villagers' current home, Tsoi Yuen village in Pat Heung, is to be demolished to make way for the HK$66.9 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

The 47 families signed a deal in early December to buy a 188,000sq ft site in Yuen Kong village in Shek Kong for more than HK$18 million.

So far, villagers and their supporters have only been able to clear weeds and put up fences at the site. No construction work can start the road access issue is resolved.

The access fee demanded by the villagers blocking the road jumped from HK$200,000 last year to HK$5 million, or 12,000sq ft of land plus HK$500,000, now.

Lau Wong-fat initially offered to negotiate the road fee for the villagers because the landlord, Leung Kam-ting, is a relative. But recently, Kenneth told villagers Leung was not the ultimate person in charge.

"The person in charge doesn't have his name on the Land Registry record," said Chu Hoi-dick, a supporter.

The senior Lau declined to comment on his role in brokering the deal. A person working for Lau said Kenneth also could not be reached for comment.

The kuk chairman was embroiled in a scandal last September over reports that he failed to declare a series of property transactions. It was later revealed that a company controlled by Kenneth bought eight flats in Yoho Midtown in Yuen Long with Lau's company on the day the government announced measures to cool property prices. His son sold three of the properties before the transactions were completed, making a profit of HK$800,000.

Clashes between Tsoi Yuen villagers, their supporters and security guards have become a constant scene since early this month as demolition work continues. About 50 villagers and supporters were taken away by police and security guards on Monday.

The Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union also complained that more than 10 workers were injured in the clashes.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #448
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Phase I works of Express Rail Link at Choi Yuen Tsuen to commence soon
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Government Press Release

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said today (January 18) that together with the agricultural sites resumed today, the Government has already taken possession of 85% of land in Choi Yuen Tsuen (CYT). The contractor will commence the first phase of construction works of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) at CYT very shortly.

Today's exercise involved only the resumption of land and not structures. Of the land taken over today, two pieces are farmland which are situated at locations crucial to the first phase of the construction works. The larger piece of farmland has always been Government Land. The villagers, who have been engaging in agricultural activities on this piece of Government Land for years, have collected the ex-gratia rehousing allowance; purchased Home Ownership Scheme flat with the comprehensive means test waived; and are granted over $1 million crop ex-gratia allowances. As for the other smaller one, its ownership right has returned to the Government in accordance with the law since last year. The original landowner of this small private farmland has also collected land compensation and ex-gratia rehousing allowances, amounting over $10 millions,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that all the CYT villagers affected by the XRL project were granted reasonable compensations.

"Apart from granting land compensation and ex-gratia rehousing allowances to villagers, the Government has also approved all crop ex-gratia allowances and given the villagers sufficient time last year to harvest their crops for sale before handing over their farmland to the Administration."

If farmers were dissatisfied with the amount of the ex-gratia compensation, they could make further claims based on the record of crops taken by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) last year. It was not necessary to retain the crops on the land. The AFCD had kept a complete record of the crops on the date of assessment of all the cases.

We have carried out phased land resumption in CYT since mid-October in 2010 and have so far recovered vacated land and agricultural sites and structures vacated by villagers who have moved out. The objective of phased land resumption is to take into account the needs of both the XRL project and the villagers. Provided that the construction progress of the rail project will not be adversely affected, the Government has offered the villagers with the greatest flexibility and more time to arrange for their moving plans. So far, the villagers have been given more than three-month grace period,” he stressed.

"At present, most of the villagers and business undertakings have already moved out from CYT and continued their living in the new homes. Among the remaining some 70 households, most of them opt for the collective agricultural resite plan. We will continue to implement land resumption in phases at this stage. We hope that the remaining villagers and their supporters will understand the Government's good will and complete their moving plans as soon as possible with full cooperation."

"We should understand that the construction works of XRL must be carried on and the grace period for villagers cannot be extended indefinitely. Due to the requirements of the construction works, we will erect extra hoarding on the resumed land in order to effectively protect the safety of villagers who have not yet moved out, and to minimise the impacts of the works on the environment."

The ownership right of all of the land in CYT now rested with the Government. A total of $160 million of land compensation was granted to the CYT villagers who owned land (excluding land owners who were not residing in CYT). Most of the villagers had collected their land compensations. The crop ex-gratia allowances were extra sum of money which was unrelated to land right. The government had approved over $13 million of crop ex-gratia allowances to CYT villagers. Most of the farmers had already collected their allowances.

The construction works at CYT is a key part of the XRL project and involves the diversion of the rivercourse, and hence the works has to be completed in the dry season. The schedule is very tight, therefore the government has to carry out the remaining land resumption as soon as possible, to ensure the construction progress of the XRL project will not be affected.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #449
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Mystery donor paves way for end to rail row
10 February 2011
The Standard

The eviction and resettlement stalemate in Choi Yuen Tsuen to make way for a high-speed railway appears to have been resolved following news that a philanthropist has bought a road access that was preventing residents from moving to their new village.

The unnamed philanthropist paid an undisclosed amount for the road in Yuen Kong San Tsuen and donated it to the Heung Yee Kuk to be used by the public.

``I especially thank the philanthropist, who was very concerned about progress on constructing the rail link, mainland-Hong Kong economic integration as well as social harmony,'' kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat said at a spring reception yesterday.

``He generously bought the road access rights and donated them to the Heung Yee Kuk.''

Some villagers and their supporters had been in constant confrontation with MTR construction workers, fearing their old homes would be razed before the new village is built.

Choi Yuen Tsuen Concern Group chairwoman Ko Chun-heung said the 47 families holding out in the village had been asked to pay an access fee of up to HK$5 million for use of a 150-meter section of the road but were only willing to pay HK$500,000.

Lau declined to name the donor or the amount paid to the four road owners. A source said the donor had been keeping tabs on what was happening and agreed to buy the rights when Lau made the proposal.

Lau said the government may consider meeting maintenance costs out of the Home Affairs Department's rural public works program.

Lau and his deputy, Cheung Hok-ming, yesterday signed a letter formalizing the arrangement, which was handed to villager Yip Shui- lai, 72, who in turn passed it to Ko.

Ko said villagers are pleased with the breakthrough. However, the deal covers only a section of the 500-meter road.

She said although Lau has assured villagers there is no need to deal with the rights of the remaining 350-meter section, she wants the kuk, or the government, to state clearly that villagers have free access.

Ko also said villagers will discuss with the government whether their relocation can be completed by November, when construction of their new homes will be completed.

A bureau spokesman pointed out that the government has given villagers a four-month grace period effective since October. He called on villagers to move out as soon as possible.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #450
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good news!!!
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #451
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2/6





















































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Old February 22nd, 2011, 03:43 PM   #452
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Villagers get full access rights to private road
11 February 2011
SCMP

Displaced Tsoi Yuen villagers will get permanent access to their new homes at Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, via a private road to the main road, Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat said yesterday.

Lau also promised that villagers would not have to pay to maintain the private road because that was the district council's job.

Speaking on RTHK, Lau, nicknamed the King of the New Territories, said all 18 landowners who owned parts of the private road had agreed to keep it permanently open after a mystery benefactor bought the access rights for the new villagers. But Lau remained silent on the identity of the benefactor.

Forty-seven Tsoi Yuen families, displaced by the HK$66.9 billion high-speed railway project connecting Hong Kong to Guangzhou, bought land near Yuen Kong village and were preparing to build new homes.

But construction could not begin because the villagers were told they could not use a private road to their sites until they paid an access fee.

That fee, which was HK$200,000 in August, jumped to HK$500,000 in November and then to HK$5 million in December.

Lau said on Wednesday that the mystery benefactor who had paid for the access rights had also donated them to the Kuk, the body that represents the interests of all indigenous people in the New Territories.

"It is a rare opportunity. We know each other but [the deal] is coincidental," Lau said.

"The owners all agree to the Kuk's solution. Everyone can use the road. The access right will last for thousands of years and tens of thousands of generations," he said.

"The district council will be responsible for the maintenance. All the private roads in the New Territories are maintained by applying for the council's small project funds."

Ko Chun-heung, the head of the Tsoi Yuen villagers' concern group, said they would contribute to the building of community facilities in the new neighbourhood.

The goodwill gesture, aimed at improving the frosty relationship between Yuen Kong villagers and their new neighbours, will see HK$500,000, an amount the Tsoi Yuen villagers had earmarked for buying the access rights, spent on community facilities.

"The neighbourhood is always threatened by flooding," Ko said. "We are prepared to contribute to this or other community facilities. We will talk to our neighbours, we respect their needs."

The Tsoi Yuen villagers also gave up their right to vote in elections at Yuen Kong after villagers expressed hostility over their moving in.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:34 PM   #453
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100 police, 300 workers descend to wrest land back for railway
23 February 2011
South China Morning Post

Hundreds of police, security guards and workers were used to resume two plots of farmland and a recycling plant at Tsoi Yuen Tsuen yesterday, a number police said was appropriate.

Resumptions in the village, being razed to make way for the HK$66.9 billion high-speed railway to Guangzhou, began in October, but some 60 families have refused to leave.

Families on the farmland and the owner of the recycling plant woke yesterday to find their land being resumed. Another resident, who drove out of the village in the morning, was unable to return to his house by car in the evening because the road was blocked.

The owner of the plant, Cheung Sun-yau, said about 100 police and 300 security guards and workers were used in the operation.

Police refused to say how many officers were used but said the manpower was appropriate to maintain public order.

The gate was then cut open and hundreds of people stormed into the plant, he said. "More than 10 policemen pushed me into my house and searched me. The others were outside erecting barbed wire."

Cheung's truck was driven out of the plant by workers after he was told to give them the key. "I don't understand why they need hundreds of people to deal with me - a single person," he said.

Cheung's house was not resumed, but nearly all the land around it was.

He said he felt despair, anger and helplessness. "I was negotiating with the government peacefully only a few days ago. Why would they now resume the land so suddenly?"

The South China Morning Post reported on Saturday that Cheung was offered HK$220,000 from the government for the trees, seedlings, pond, abandoned house and chicken shed on the 40,000 square feet of farmland, which he has turned into an illegal metal recycling plant.

The MTR Corporation also offered HK$150,000 for materials including hoardings at the site. But Cheung refused the offers, saying they were insufficient to recover his investment in the plant.

Another villager, Lo Li-yin, 46, said a narrow path was built for the villagers a week ago, but yesterday the main road in the village was blocked and cars could not enter.

A spokeswoman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said the villagers and business operators had already had a four-month period of grace. The bureau had discussed the relocation schedules with Cheung for months without success, she said.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #454
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Activists expect showdown with MTR Corp over access to village
3 March 2011
South China Morning Post

Activists expect a showdown with the MTR Corporation as access is restricted to a Yuen Long village being razed for the express rail link to Guangzhou.

Chu Hoi-dick, a member of the Tsoi Yuen Tsuen Concern Group, said the volunteers helping the remaining 47 families in Tsoi Yuen Tsuen would no longer be able to freely walk through the area because a gate would soon be installed to block the entrance to the village.

"The village used to be a large piece of land where everyone could move freely. The MTR Corp has turned the village into dozens of zones by erecting hoardings and barricades. It has also built gates between these zones, so there is no way we can walk from one end of the village to another without being stopped by security guards," he said. "Now everything is in place. They can build the last gate very quickly."

However, the MTR Corp said the hoardings and barricades were needed for the safety of workers, villagers and visitors. It promised an access road would be built for villagers who had not yet moved out.

Chu believed the gates were to stop the group's patrol teams entering the village to help the villagers. The group recruited nearly 500 city dwellers, most of them university students, to form patrol teams to provide instant help to villagers. Patrol team members frequently argue with MTR Corp workers, sometimes resulting in clashes. Police arrested two team members for criminal damage on Tuesday after a dozen tried to stop a piling machine digging a trench near the home of an elderly couple.

"The arrest is a warning signal," Chu said. "It is aimed at intimidating the patrol teams."

Tsoi Yuen village has to be bulldozed so a depot can be built for the HK$66.9 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Link. The 47 families plan to rebuild their homes together on land they bought at Yuen Kong Tsuen, and are negotiating with the government on a timetable for leaving Tsoi Yuen Tsuen.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #455
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China completes construction of world's fastest underwater railway tunnel

English.news.cn 2011-03-12 14:04:30

GUANGZHOU, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Construction of China's first underwater railway tunnel was completed Saturday in south China, which allows trains to operate at the world's top speed under the water.

The project, or the Shiziyang Tunnel, crossed the Pearl River estuary in south China's Guangdong Province with a length of 10.8 kilometers. It is designed for trains travelling at 350 kilometers per hour, the highest of all underwater tunnels worldwide.

The 10.8-kilometer tunnel, which is also the country's longest, is a key part of a 140-kilometer high-speed rail link that connects Guangzhou, the capital of China's southern economic powerhouse Guangdong, with the city of Shenzhen, also in Guangdong, and Hong Kong.

Liu Guangjun, project manager with the Shiziyang Tunnel, said large shielding machines had been used in digging of the tunnel at 60 meters underwater.

Construction of the tunnel started in November 2007, and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link is scheduled to put into operation in 2012, which would slash travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to 40 minutes from the current two hours.

The express is also expected to join with the country's express railway network and take passengers only eight hours from Hong Kong to Beijing.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english201...c_13774762.htm
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Old March 13th, 2011, 09:32 AM   #456
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Pictures taken yesterday on the construction site of the FuTian Station.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #457
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Bill Nye Should Check Out China; Another “World’s Fastest” Train Near

Mar. 12 2011 - 11:42 pm

China completes underground tunnel Saturday for its latest high speed line. MTR Corporation's bullet train will average 217 mph and be operational between 2012-15.
This weekend, America’s favorite science teacher Bill Nye the Science Guy, blasted the US for not having a high speed rail system. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, China completed its first underwater railway tunnel on Saturday. The government there likes to call it the “world’s fastest” underwater railroad. It will be.

Nye was lambasting our lack of high speed trains during a National Engineers Week event at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center.

China’s Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong bullet train is run by Hong Kong based MTR Corporation, (MTRJY). These are the guys who run the Hong Kong metro. MTR’s GSHK express train will be able travel 217 miles per hour, the company says. By comparison, our Acela Express, which has daily runs from Boston to Washington, DC, can only go up to 150 miles per hour.

MTRs super train is not ready to glide at top speeds under ground just yet. What was completed this weekend was just the Shiziyang Tunnel under the Pearl River estuary in south China’s Guangdong Province. The tunnel is around 7 miles long and designed especially for high speed, underground transit. China’s underground will be the world’s fastest when the express train is operational by as early as 2012, according to MTR.

The tunnel is a key part of a 140-kilometer high-speed rail link that connects Guangzhou, the capital of China’s southern economic powerhouse Guangdong, with the city of Shenzhen, also in Guangdong, and Hong Kong. Liu Guangjun, project manager with the Shiziyang Tunnel, told Xinhua that large shielding machines had been used in digging the tunnel at 196 feet underwater.

Construction of the tunnel started in November 2007. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail would slash travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to 40 minutes from the current two hours and will ultimately be part of an 88 mile stretch of high speed railroad connecting Hong Kong with mainland China. According to the environmental impact study on the project back in 2009, the train “will significantly increase integration of cities, and promote business and tourism towards a greener economy.”

The tunnel is just the beginning. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail is part of China’s “Medium to Long Term Rail Network Plan”, established in 2004. The plan seeks to create a 9,941 mile rail line to integrate most of China’s major cities. So, yes, the infrastructure and growth narrative is very much in place in China. But let’s not forget the technological know-how to build this thing.

At 217 miles per hour, the new train will be China’s fastest below ground, but not China’s fastest overall. The Siemens AG (SI) built Shanghai magnetic levitation train can reach top speeds of 267 miles per hour, according to passengers who have traveled on the Shanghai Maglev.

(Can Bill please explain to me why we can’t do this in the US? I mean, I’ve been on the Acela train. I love it. But I don’t think it’s ever gone over 100 mph on my Bos-Nyc trips.)

http://blogs.forbes.com/kenrapoza/20...near-complete/
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Old March 14th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
Bill Nye Should Check Out China; Another “World’s Fastest” Train Near


China’s Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong bullet train is run by Hong Kong based MTR Corporation, (MTRJY). These are the guys who run the Hong Kong metro. MTR’s GSHK express train will be able travel 217 miles per hour, the company says. By comparison, our Acela Express, which has daily runs from Boston to Washington, DC, can only go up to 150 miles per hour.
http://blogs.forbes.com/kenrapoza/20...near-complete/
No way!!
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Old March 14th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #459
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No way!!
I too have never read that anywhere else before.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #460
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Pictures taken yesterday on the construction site of the FuTian Station.
image hosted on flickr

image hosted on flickr
Please credit these photos properly. The author is : http://www.flickr.com/photos/yleberre/with/5522003048/
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