Hawker stalls to stay vacant
The government has no plan to temporarily lease 320 vacant stalls on Tung Choi Street, commonly known as Ladies' Street, in Mong Kok to licensed hawkers operating next to the vacant stalls. Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok told the Legislative Council that leasing vacant stalls to some of the existing hawkers might upset nearby shop owners, or hawkers who were not allowed to expand their stalls. The minister said the government was conducting a review of its hawker licensing policy and would consult the Legco panel on food safety and environmental hygiene on their preliminary proposal in the middle of the year.
Flour reserve deemed impractical
The government will not keep reserves of flour in case of a supply shortage because the humid environment would make stocks go stale easily. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang said yesterday that rice importers in the city had stockpiles in case of a shortage, but there were no reserves of flour. He said the recent increase in bread prices was due not only to the higher cost of flour, but also a surge in rent and labour costs.
Driving with ID card ruled out
Smart identity cards will not be used as driving licences despite the government's initial plans, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development said yesterday, but they could eventually be used to store money in a new 'e-purse' system. In a written response to Legco yesterday, Frederick Ma Si-hang said the card had the capacity to be used at retail outlets, but no timetable had been set. He said the card could not replace driving licences for various reasons, including difficulties in accessing data on the card's chip and the need to re-issue ID cards for people whose driving licences were temporarily suspended.
Cable hits worker on head
A worker suffered head injuries after being hit by a cable on board a barge near Kau Yi Chau at about 4am. The 40-year-old man was in serious condition at Queen Mary Hospital.
Stolen bus used to ram shop
A 24-seater bus stolen in Yuen Long was used to ram the security gate of a newly opened roast-meat shop in Shek Yam Road, Kwai Chung, at about 3.30am. It also damaged a parked taxi and a section of railings. The vehicle sped away before police arrived. It was found abandoned in Kwai Chung Road near Lai King Estate about half an hour later. No one was arrested.
Two hurt as truck, taxi collide
A taxi slammed into the railings outside a toll booth after a collision with a delivery truck at the Kowloon exit of Eastern Harbour Tunnel at 2.45pm. The taxi driver, 43, and his female passenger, 32, were injured.