Repaving of trail has ruined natural look, hikers complain

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 November, 2007, 12:00am

A century-old trail built with granite stones has been paved over in Western, prompting hikers to prepare a complaint to the Ombudsman. They say the work is a waste of money and has ruined the look of the path.

The Lung Fu Shan Area Environmental Concern Group says the HK$320,000 spent repaving the Pik Shan Trail, also known as the Old Stone Road, has destroyed its natural beauty.

'It is a historical trail famous for its beautiful old granite stones,' group chairwoman Vivian Leung Tai Yuek-kam, said. 'The work is a waste of public funds.'

The complaint about the 750-metre trail, which runs from Pinewood Garden, through the Pinewood Battery to the junction of Harlech Road and Hatton Road, is just the latest by hikers and environmentalists frustrated by the paving over of Hong Kong's network of country trails.

Mrs Leung said the work, which started last month, had turned parts of the trail into a concrete mess, with interlocking slabs standing 15cm to 20cm above the original path.

'It ruined the natural beauty and the Central and Western district office is wasting public funds,' she said. 'We will lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman.'

A spokesman for the district office said only 150 metres of the trail was being repaved.

'The purpose of the project is to improve the condition of the trail, where many of the original stones have become broken because of wear and tear, and parts have sunk, resulting in an uneven surface, an accumulation of sand and mud and excessive [accumulation of] rainwater in rainy weather.'

One elderly hiker, who did not want to be named, said she liked the repaved trail.