Warning served on dump site

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2011, 12:00am

The Planning Department served a written warning on the owner of a site in a Yuen Long green belt that has been trashed by excavated materials, but villagers are worried that the dumping will continue.

The department says it will prosecute the owner of the land at Hung Shui Kiu if the order is disobeyed. The charge provides a maximum fine of HK$500,000 on first conviction.

The dumping stopped last Thursday, but villagers said yesterday that it might be resuming after they noticed suspicious construction activities at the site.

On separate visits in the morning, however, planning officers, a green activist and reporters saw no trucks dumping waste on the site. One truck was seen moving material dug from the dump site to another spot nearby.

A man identifying himself only as Poon and claiming to be the person in charge of the dump site said he had heard nothing about the warning. He said he was not violating any laws.

'I am here to improve the environment on the request of the villagers, by tearing down all those empty pig and chicken farms, which are occasionally occupied by drug addicts,' he said.

Poon said the work aimed at forming a new access road and installing additional drainage to divert floodwater. 'The environment officers visiting the site were so happy about our efforts to make the place more hygienic and cleaner,' he said. 'They should also give me a prize for diverting dozens of trucks full of rubbish away from the landfills.' He said he had offered to pay an unspecified amount to buy 'fill materials' for the site, but he could not name the seller.

Last week, the South China Morning Post reported that the dumped materials originated at a building site of developer Chinachem Group and contractor Chevalier in Siu Lam. Both firms said they had no idea that the waste was being diverted from a pre-arranged dump site at a Henderson Land Development construction site in Wo Sang Wai to Hung Shui Kiu until the Post approached them.

Henderson Land said its site had taken only a small fraction of the 5,600 truckloads of excavated materials coming from the Chinachem site.

According to the Land Registry, private company King Cheer is one of the landowners at Hung Shui Kiu. But Poon said he was no relation of the three directors of the company who share the same surname. He said there was no imminent development plan, though the villagers were suspicious because the site lay at the heart of a future Hung Shui Kiu new town.

A farmer who received an eviction payout from the landowner more than a year ago questioned why the owner had rushed to bury his farmland and home with soil in recent weeks. 'They had told me they would keep my house for the moment. But last week, they said they were going to demolish my kitchen and toilet and bury the site with waste. How can I live with the kitchen and toilet gone?'