'Improvement' work is destroying natural beauty of Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am

I have lived in Hong Kong for more than 27 years and consider it my home.

In the past one of the most amazing aspects of this pulsating city was its incredible juxtaposition of natural beauty alongside the areas of concrete jungle with their high-rises.

Being an artist, one of my greatest pleasures was to drive along the beautiful winding roads and walk in Hong Kong's untouched country parks.

The amazing mix of wild flora and fauna, the incredible variety of beautiful trees, natural grasses, varied shapes, textures and colours of rock and boulders along the roads never failed to amaze me.

I could see nature in all its wild abandon, existing in close proximity to cement and concrete and it was a harmonious mix.

Unfortunately all of this belongs to the past.

The SAR government has decided to ' improve ' on Mother Nature.

Beautiful mature trees, vines, creepers, bushes with wild flowers and tall grasses along all the roads have been hacked down.

Natural rock, stones and pebbles have been carefully cemented over. Paths and other trails in our country parks have also been cemented over.

Steps, railings and bridges are provided, supposedly for our 'safety , convenience and comfort'.

What has happened to our beautiful city? The trees and flora and fauna absorbed unwanted exhaust emissions on our roads and provided effective natural sound barriers.

Last but not least, with these changes, the habitat of myriad insects, including beetles and butterflies that you could see everywhere, has been destroyed forever.

While I realise that some areas in Hong Kong are prone to landslides and require reinforcement work, do we need to go to such extreme lengths that nothing remains of our original inheritance?

Would someone from the relevant government departments care to give a logical and satisfactory explanation for adopting this destructive policy?

If officials continue with these measures, what will remain of the beautiful city we once knew?

Anju Ahmed, Tai Hang