Contractors not taking necessary precautions

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 August, 1997, 12:00am
 

I refer to the letter from P. N. Cheung, Chief Engineer/Construction, of the Water Services Department (WSD), headlined, 'Assurance', (South China Morning Post, August 9).


Mr Cheung is wrong to suggest that the contractor working on behalf of the WSD placed signs and flashing lights to warm road users of the holes they left in the surface of Pak Tam Road for a week at the end of July.


There were only cones in the holes and any signs or flashing lights were lying on the pavement. The only light I saw did not flash. I am no expert on roadworks, but I would imagine that such signs should warn road users before they encounter the hazard. Contractors working for the WSD, when they bother to erect signs, never place them in such a way. This was such a case.


If WSD officials made a habit of checking on the activities of the contractors, they would realise that contractors working for the WSD habitually do not do things as they should. How a contractor can be allowed to cut holes in a road and not resurface immediately, as Mr Cheung's letter described, is a perfect example of this problem.


If Mr Cheung's assurances were to be believed, the recent emergency repairs to a burst main on Tai Mong Tsai Road would not result in the WSD's contractors leaving excavated material blocking the road - but that is exactly what happened.


Yes, the WSD may be concerned with providing a quality water service to the public, but what will it take before the actions of its contractors show the slightest signs of common-sense or respect for road users? The answer, Mr Cheung, would appear to be a traffic accident. I look forward to being proved wrong.


BRETT GRAHAM New Territories

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