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PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am

The column for anyone fed up with bureaucracy, frustrated with delays or furious with poor service. Tell us your complaint and we'll try to fix it...

A Sheung Wan resident said his district councillors are promoting 'the Beautification of Hollywood Road', yet some left their giant campaign and political posters hanging in the street for months.

'At a time when the district council has expressed its intention to embark on 'the Beautification of Hollywood Road', I am writing to suggest the removal of these banners for council members when they have long since past their relevance date,' he wrote.

'For many months these banners have remained fixed to the pavement railings in many areas and, more particularly, at the west end of Hollywood Road in the area of its junction with Po Yan Street. They are left hanging on both sides of Hollywood Road - and, with no relevance, they become unsightly and as boring as old newspapers.

'These banners have been placed by members and their helpers. In my opinion these same workers should have the duty of removing them when they have passed their 'sell-by' date.

'An additional obstruction to visibility and the right of way of pedestrians at this same busy intersection is the presence of some shops whose owners or tenants allow their products to overflow onto this narrow footpath. These shops and businesses line the roadside opposite the park and hotel. Surely this practice is illegal?'

Putting up such posters requires approval from the Lands and Food and Environmental Hygiene departments. Inspectors carried out a check after a Take Action inquiry and identified several that had passed their approval dates.

'A site inspection was conducted and it was found that the approval period of some of the banners had lapsed and some others were not hung in the right position,' a government spokeswoman said.

'The Lands Department and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department conducted a joint action to remove those banners. Under the 'Management Scheme for the Display of Roadside Non-commercial Publicity Materials', the publicity materials should be removed immediately by the applicant on expiry of the approved period of display.

'Any publicity materials not so removed will be cleared and disposed of. Removal expenses incurred will be recovered from the party concerned.'

A reader from the Mid-Levels complained about the renovation work at Kom Tong Hall and its nearby excavation works along Castle Road, which have blocked the pavement and forced pedestrians to risk injury or death by walking in the traffic lane.

'Castle Road is a very narrow, steep and winding one-way lane but it is always busy. It is a bus route for No13 running between Central and Kotewall Road, which means that the road is jammed with not only cars but also buses. Many times I have seen people walking in the traffic lane as the road outside Kom Tong Hall has been blocked for excavation and renovation work.

The situation is particularly dangerous during morning peak hours when parents and domestic helpers bring children to school and have to walk down to Caine Road.

'Castle Road is a shortcut between Mid-Levels streets, such as Robinson Road and Caine Road. So residents cannot find alternative routes.

'I wonder whether the departments in charge of the renovation and excavation work can do something to improve road safety?'

With regard to the inquiry on excavation works along Castle Road dated June 9, a spokesman for the Architectural Services Department replied:

'The pavement excavation work on the side of Kom Tong Hall along Castle Road is for laying of various utilities, cables and pipes. The work is essential for the conversion of the Kom Tong Hall into the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum.

'There is no similar work being carried out on the opposite side of the road for this project.

'The Department understands the inconvenience caused to the public and residents nearby as the existing pavement is too narrow to retain sufficient width for pedestrian use while the work is going on.

'We have made the best endeavours to minimise inconvenience caused and have incorporated appropriate signs to direct pedestrians to the opposite side of the road. We have also instructed the contractor to use metal planks to cover up certain areas to minimise the disturbance. We will closely monitor the pavement works and will complete the works as soon as possible.'