PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 12:00am

Who says there's a budget deficit? And who says Hong Kong is short of the odd $70 billion?

Certainly not those cash guzzlers at the Water Supplies Department (WSD). As your own reports testify and Jonathan Midgley's letter confirms (South China Morning Post, January 15), the WSD has discovered a 'magic money fountain' that refuses to dry up.

Take a look at the Mount Davis fresh water service reservoir and the ongoing renovation and repair work being carried out on the reservoir and its approaches.

Over the last 12 months the WSD has completely rebuilt the service road leading up to the reservoir even though the previous one was perfectly adequate for the very few vehicles that ever used it.

In addition a metal barrier was erected along most of its length where none was required before. The department's real 'masterpiece', however, is the 3.5-metre-high, custom-made, tempered steel, spike-topped security fence it has erected around the reservoir itself. This made-to-measure barrier would not look out of place at a high-security prison, but a water reservoir?

I have several questions I would like to ask WSD officials:

What is the purpose of this new security fence?

Who are they trying to keep out of the grass-topped reservoir area - the early morning tai chi enthusiasts, dog walkers, joggers, or the people who just enjoy the magnificent view over the Lamma Channel?

How much did this useless monstrosity cost?

When will the WSD and its contractors and sub-contractors clean up their building site and their piles of rubbish? and

Does the WSD intend to share its 'magic money fountain' with Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and his administration? I am sure they would all appreciate the extra cash.