Sparks fly over power

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 1995, 12:00am

OVERESTIMATES of electricity demand mean power may not be needed through the controversial Black Point power line by the specified date of mid-1996, the Legislative Council heard yesterday.

During a heated debate of the joint health and environmental affairs panels, legislators slammed the Government for stalling and putting forward excuses for not finding an alternative route for the high-voltage line.

Residents complain that electromagnetic fields from the 400-kilovolt line will harm their health.

The Legco secretariat said its research showed that in 1992 China Light and Power had estimated demand at 17 per cent higher than had been realised.

'We believe there is a big difference, a drop in the actual level of demand,' said secretariat head researcher Donna Shum Choi-tsui.

'I think the original grounds put forward then apparently cannot be accepted now.' Other substations could be used to carry the load temporarily to the area, she said.

But China Light and Power rejected the arguments, saying diversion would take two years and be very costly.

The panels will meet again next week to complete the debate.