Last unspoilt refuge being ruined by concrete invasion

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 April, 2001, 12:00am
 

There is little natural beauty left in Hong Kong.


As a keen dragon-boat racer, it has been depressing to head out on the sea around Hong Kong only to encounter floating television sets, plastic bags and dead fish.


It will take a huge effort and a long time to fix the murky liquid excrement that our surrounding waters have become.


Our air is filthy, and every day millions of people are expected to co-exist with diesel fumes on our streets. Our future is bleak. What sort of air will future generations breathe? Where will they be able to hike and swim?


Our beautiful country trails have always been our saving grace, havens of peace and tranquillity. I had hoped our Government would at least keep these areas untouched. Unfortunately, this is not happening.


As an avid hiker who has covered just about every trail in Hong Kong over the past 20 years, it is with total disbelief that I have witnessed the concreting, waterworks sign-posting and general desecration of large areas of the country trails by government departments. I am astounded that some official has allowed perfectly decent trails to be concreted in Tai Tam and that two-metre-wide steps are being constructed all the way up from Big Wave Bay Beach to the catchment on the hill behind. Who is responsible for concreting our country paths?


Does no one in government understand that people go on hikes because of the uneven terrain, the lack of concrete and the intrinsic value of the trail?


How on earth do they justify clearing areas of land to build steps in country parks? Do the relevant government departments not understand that to alter the state of our country parks with concrete in this day and age is sacrilege?


On a related issue, I am bewildered that anyone is even contemplating building holiday homes in Tai Long Wan, in Sai Kung. Recently a protest walk against this plan was held to show potential developers that enough is enough and they should leave this area alone. Why doesn't the Government use the money it is spending on concreting our trails to buy up areas, such as Tai Long Wan, so these parts of our countryside can be protected forever?


I would like to understand why Hong Kong's approach to country parks is so dim-witted and how it is that contractors are allowed to create eyesores throughout areas of outstanding natural beauty.


GEORGE CHRISTOFIS


Shek O


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