Disgusting eyesores

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 April, 2000, 12:00am

There have been several articles in the Sunday Morning Post recently concerning the concreting of slopes in country parks.

I have noticed that this is something that has been happening steadily in Tai Tam Country Park over the last few years.

The problem however, is not limited to country parks. Take a drive from Shouson Hill to Shek O along the south side and take in the lunar landscape where every outcrop of rock or hint of a slope is a target for the shot-creters who perform their art in a variety of colours, off-grey, white, sickly brown or purple, none of which blend into the surroundings.

Several slopes both on the roadside and in the country park, which to my knowledge over the last 20 years have never ever been subject to subsidence, have been shotcreted and are now disgusting eyesores.

What is this madness? What happened to the Government's new emphasis on the environment and luring tourists to see 'the other green side of Hong Kong'. The government departments in question always retort by stating, 'Safe slopes save lives.' Well so do hospitals and care for the elderly. Surely these are areas more deserving to receive budget dollars.

Could some government department provide statistics of the number of deaths/injuries in country parks due to landslides. What is the Government protecting us from? Another issue within country parks is the creation of slope maintenance signposts which in some cases have been erected three times within a distance of 50 metres, often obscuring scenic views. Are those responsible for slope maintenance really so dumb that they need three signposts to identify a problematic slope. Is there money to burn? How much is it costing to destroy what's left of Hong Kong natural beauty? It has been reported that the annual slope maintenance budget is close to $1 billion.

Surely some of this money could be better spent. Sure, make safe any dangerous slopes, but do it properly and spend some money so that it does not damage the environment. Don't touch harmless slopes.