PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 May, 2009, 12:00am

What do you think of the viaduct plan on the South Island line?

It is good that our railways are expanding. Railways provide us with the most convenient method of transportation. By using railways, we can avoid traffic jams on roads, and we use our time more efficiently. And now it is the turn of Southern district to have its railway.

However, it seems quite a lot of residents there oppose building a viaduct for part of the line, because it will bring noise. Also, they are concerned the viaduct will affect their views.

The MTR Corporation should consider erecting noise barriers along the viaduct where the route is near residential buildings, similar to what is in place near Kwai Fong station. When dealing with the impact of the project on the residents' view, the MTR Corp could consider planting vegetation around the viaduct to make it greener. Whether to use a tunnel is really a question for engineers to decide. However, the cost between the two methods should be considered, as that will be reflected in the fares. We don't want the ticket prices to be too high.

R. Hau, Kowloon Bay

Not only will the South Island line be greatly convenient for the people who live in the area, but it will also create another way for everyone else to get to that part of Hong Kong.

First, there will be a station near Ocean Park. Many tourists and Hong Kong residents often want to go there to relax and enjoy themselves. But there are only a few ways to get there. Going by taxi is too expensive and going by bus is too time consuming. With the South Island Line, the MTR Corp creates a way to get there that avoids the disadvantages of both taxis and buses.

Many people in Hong Kong are not familiar with the remote parts of our city. The South Island Line will help people learn about and pay attention to those places and perhaps they will become the most popular and famous places in Hong Kong one day.

Benny Poon Chi-shing, Sha Tin

Should more ice-cream-hawker licences be issued?

Ice-cream hawkers evoke childhood memories. In the past, when we saw the hawkers selling ice cream on the street, we would immediately buy a scoop and savour the coolness. Although there were only a few varieties to choose from, the smiling face of the ice-cream hawkers and the laughter of the children around us became deeply etched in memory. Today, there is a wide range of ice cream for us to choose from and the ice-cream shops are beautifully decorated. But the attitude of hawkers has changed. Hong Kong has lost a lot of its cultural heritage. Ice-cream hawkers should not be another thing we lose.

Michael Leung Chung-hong, Sham Shui Po

Should developers be forced to be greener?

The burgeoning problem of global warming has sparked heated public debate. It is arguable that summers in Hong Kong are hotter than they were in the past. Higher temperatures in the summer are the main reason for the 'heat island' effect. All of us are victims of it. Developers could ease the problem but they have not done anything. I think developers should be forced to be greener.

Developers are members of society. They should take responsibility and contribute to alleviating the problem. Furthermore, if developers become more competitive, they will spare no pain to construct 'green buildings'. With the central government putting money and effort into environmental protection, it is obvious Hong Kong's developers will be at an advantage if they have the relevant experience in building green buildings in Hong Kong. Forcing developers to be greener is easier said than done, but we must have a go at it. If developers embrace this opportunity, they will be at an advantage compared to their rivals.

Mak Kwun-leung, Tuen Mun

Do you think electronic textbooks are a good idea?

I totally agree with the idea. In the first place, there is no doubt that trees will be saved if books are made electronic.

Electronic textbooks may save parents money in the long run as well as protecting the environment. As we all know, textbook prices rise every year. This is due to the fact that many dishonest publishers claim the new book version is much better than the old one. In fact, it is not true. They just edit a little bit or add something unnecessary. Therefore, it is worth buying an electronic textbook in which things can be modified and updated without much additional cost.

For pupils, they would get rid of the heavy burden on their backs. They then only need to bring a light computer when they go to school. What's more, it is more interactive to use electronic textbooks. For example, every student can answer teachers' questions simultaneously. As a student, I completely welcome electronic textbooks.

Bego Tse, Kwai Chung

Should parents have a say on choice of textbooks?

I think parents should have a say on choice of textbooks. Parents are the ones who pay for textbooks, so they should have the authority to choose the textbooks they can afford to buy. Many teachers would say that the quality of textbook is the most important factor when they choose the textbooks. However, do they really think of the situations of parents who have economic difficulties? The answer is 'no'. Therefore, be a rational parent and do give your opinion.

Tsao Po-Yee, Sha Tin