Market revamp will ruin a part of HK's past
I urge the government to halt the Graham Street market redevelopment scheme.
This market is part of Hong Kong's traditional cultural heritage. It is of great historical significance. It represents a part of our past, with local people doing their daily shopping for groceries. Also, the redevelopment scheme will bring with it unpleasant side-effects.
The reconstruction project will take some time. During this period there will be a lot of air and noise pollution in the area. This will bring a lot of inconvenience to local residents.
The government has paid little attention to the consultation reports of different groups objecting to the revamp. The views of some relevant professionals from fields such as planning have been overlooked.
Officials should have taken note of their views.
This would have meant that there was less likelihood of them making fundamental mistakes when embarking on this revamp programme.
Supporters of the revamp have said that preserving the site would hinder the city's economic progress.
But I think it is always important for the government to strike the right balance between maintaining prosperity and heritage conservation.
The 'Viva Blue House' in Wan Chai is an excellent example of heritage preservation and economic interests coexisting.
The Blue House will have businesses, such as a vegetarian restaurant and a second-hand goods shop.
Jennifer Lee, Wong Tai Sin
No green oasis for citizens
It just doesn't make sense to me. The government spent HK$1.2 billion and took three years to build an award winning 'green' jail to house up to 1,400 prisoners ('New green jail offers a more humane look', November 4).
This new jail offers a 'more humane' living condition for prisoners, promotes open space, is energy-saving and is environmentally friendly.
Sadly, in my past 18 years residency in Hong Kong as an expatriate Chinese, I have not seen similar commitment from the government to improving the living conditions of its citizens who actually pay rent or buy an apartment.
I have been to several public housing estates in Hong Kong which have long, dark and airless corridors. Most of the units are extremely small.
It is sad that the government has no long-term urban planning strategy.
I understand improving the living standards of the general public will need more resources.
However, if the administration really wants to promote a green environment, it has to take the initiative to encourage private property developers to follow suit.
I hope the government will pay attention to the need to ensure humane conditions for its citizens.
Jefference Tay, Happy Valley
Sad truth about nation's woes
Frank Ching's analysis of the Philippines is spot on ('Holding up a mirror to a broken country', November 1). Much as we Pinoys would wish to deny that our country is broken in spirit, as well as broke financially, we know that sad condition has existed for a long time.
The demoralisation began after the crusading president Ramon Magsaysay died in a plane crash in 1957, after which succeeding presidents allowed graft to take root, culminating in the massive corruption epitomised by the Marcos years. We took hope in what we thought would be the reformist government of the saintly Cory Aquino, but she disappointed us all by allowing the feudal system (of which she was a part) to remain entrenched and by not keeping her promises to institute reforms.
One thing we can be proud of is the fact that we do have a handful of patriots who have faced the truth in their report about the unfortunate bus hijacking of Hong Kong tourists.
This small, intelligent group has written most eloquently about the sad state of our nation and may yet be part of a reformist spirit that will be able to restore Filipinos' lost pride. Sadly, their integrity and good sense is not reflected in Cory's son who, like his mother, seems clueless and compromised.
L. M. S. Valerio, Tin Hau
Firm support for incinerators
There has been a lot of discussion about the problem of landfills nearing capacity.
I think more resources should be allocated to education so people are taught to protect the environment.
There are some recycling programmes in schools, but I wonder how many of them are effective.
If we had more recycling initiatives and they proved successful, the lifespan of our landfills could be extended.
Incineration is another way of solving our refuse problems. When it comes to the disposal of municipal solid waste, it has been adopted as an alternative to landfills in many countries.
Critics have talked about pollution problems connected with incinerators. However, I believe this problem can be solved thanks to the technological advances that have been made in Japan.
Mak Fu-kuen, Tsuen Wan
Opposed to larger landfill
Residents and legislators have expressed their opposition to government plans to extend the landfill at Tseung Kwan O.
I also believe the expansion plan is nonsensical and unfair to Tseung Kwan O residents.
Why should they have to bear all the consequences of Hong Kong's refuse disposal problems?
Residents complain about bad smells from the landfill, which get worse during the summer or on rainy days.
Expanding it is not a long-lasting solution to the problem of landfill saturation.
This is not only a problem for Tseung Kwan O residents.
It concerns all of us and I hope the government can find a better way to deal with the problem.
Lee Wu-ching, Tung Chung
Establish new department
It has been reported that Hong Kong's landfills are nearing saturation and the amount of rubbish dumped in them keeps on increasing.
A lot of the refuse dumped into landfills is food waste.
Pressure must be exerted on the catering industry to get it to reduce its waste levels.
In fact, quite a number of restaurants have taken the initiative, encouraging customers to cut down on the size of the meals they order. However, large quantities of rubbish continue to arrive at landfill sites.
I would like to see a government department being established which would be responsible for dealing with food waste. It would be given the task of collecting leftover food from restaurants and storing it until it was converted into fertiliser for plants.
Also, food waste can be turned into fuel, which could be used to generate energy.
We have to look at the options that are available and accept that sacrifices must be made in order to see positive results.
Chris Au, Wong Tai Sin
Constant delays at Shanghai
It was interesting reading the short report ('More delays in flights to mainland', October 28), regarding the fact that the amount of flight delays to the mainland has increased.
As a frequent traveller to Shanghai I have experienced that almost every flight to the city is delayed.
The same can be said for the return flights. So I am amazed with the figure quoted of 6.7 per cent of flights delayed.
I would have thought it was considerably higher.
In my experience, the average delay ranges from 45 to 50 minutes to two hours.
If it rains in Shanghai then the situation is much worse, with delays of three hours and more.
The average fully-boarded flight usually just sits at the gate waiting and waiting for a push-back time.
This is so frustrating for travellers as little explanation is given by the pilots except to say mainland airspace is 'busy''.
My advice to travellers going to Shanghai (especially flying with Cathay/Dragonair) is to expect delays. There are a few problems that need to be ironed out before we can say that this is a reliable service.
M. Scully, Discovery Bay
I have been travelling to work through the Hung Hom MTR station and cross-harbour bus concourse for the past 16 years. I have experienced a deterioration of pedestrian flow on the connecting footbridge since the decision was made to terminate West Rail at Hung Hom.
There was no corresponding improvement work nor provision of additional facilities between the station and the cross-harbour bus concourse to deal with additional passenger flow from the West Rail. There is a bottleneck at the footbridge where the congestion is at its worst, with only just more than two metres space for people to move back and forth.
The distributors of free newspapers make the situation worse. Are they legally entitled to be there?
People have to queue at the staircase and some do not have the support of a handrail. Is this safe?
I would like to know which authority should be dealing with this problem. Would it be the district council, the bus companies or the MTR Corporation?
I tried to e-mail the MTR Corp but could only find a fax, phone number and ordinary mail address. I want to see something done before there is a serious accident caused by the overcrowding.
Simon Wong, Fanling