Seasonal travel rush to see 9 million into and out of city
More than 9 million people will travel into and out of Hong Kong during the Christmas and New Year period, an increase of 9.1 per cent from last year, the Immigration Department has forecast. The number of travellers using the Lo Wu checkpoint will total 6.5 million, with a peak of 363,000 being reached on Christmas Eve. Demand on the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint will also be heavy, with a forecast of about 1.6 million passengers, a daily average of 122,000. The department suggests cross-border passengers use the two new control points at Shenzhen Bay and the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line in view of limited capacity at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau.
Environmental body wins 51 convictions against polluters
Fifty-one convictions were recorded last month for breaches of anti-pollution laws enforced by the Environmental Protection Department. Twenty-four convictions were for violating the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, 17 were under the Waste Disposal Ordinance, and 10 under the Noise Control Ordinance. In the most severe case, a person convicted of illegally exporting controlled waste was jailed for two months. The heaviest fine reported was HK$20,000.
Heung Yee Kuk seeks relaxed engine-idling law for tour buses
The Heung Yee Kuk has proposed that tourist buses waiting in open areas with fresh air be exempted under the proposed law banning idling engines. During its meeting yesterday, vice-chairman Daniel Lam Wai-keung said an exemption in such designated areas would avoid inconvenience caused to tourists while minimising the impact on the environment. Meanwhile, piling work on the Kuk's new building in Sha Tin began yesterday. Mr Lam said the rural body would start the tendering process for the construction as soon as possible and the building was expected to be completed in 2009.
Disney admits attendance lower than expected
The Walt Disney Company admitted attendance at the Hong Kong theme park was worse than expected and said it would work hard to boost the figures. A park spokeswoman defended its marketing strategy of introducing programmes during holidays. She said the government and Disney were discussing the park's expansion plans and long-term financing arrangements.