Chicken slaughterhouse will probably be smaller
The planned central slaughterhouse will probably be scaled back because most live-chicken vendors surrendered their licences last year in return for government compensation, Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok said yesterday. Chow told legislators that a study on central slaughtering - proposed to take the place of live- chicken sales and reduce the risk of bird flu - was being conducted to assess the private sector's interest in running it. The government has estimated that 30,000 chickens could be processed each day when a poultry slaughterhouse begins operation in 2011-12.
Freight rail line axed
A planned freight rail connection from Lo Wu to Kwai Chung will be shelved in the wake of a drop in cross-boundary rail freight volume, legislators heard. Official figures showed that rail freight volume had decreased from 209,000 teus (20-foot equivalent units) in 1987 to only 11,900 teus last year.
Rail bid dead in the water
The Transport and Housing Bureau said it would not pursue a counter-proposal for the new cross-border rail line because it was not feasible in concept, design, engineering or operation. Private think tank Professional Commons has proposed making Kam Sheung Road in the New Territories the Hong Kong terminus for the high-speed link to Guangzhou.
Chow 'sells' health insurance
Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok told legislators a proposed voluntary health insurance scheme should provide life-long protection to patients with different health risks, including those with pre-existing conditions. He also asked insurers to consider covering medical procedures done in day care centres.
Injured guard wins support
Twenty pan-democrat legislators issued a statement expressing concern for a Legislative Council security guard who was injured while ushering Leung Kwok-hung out of the chamber on Thursday. Leung and his fellow lawmakers from the League of Social Democrats did not sign.