Monorail would revitalise Kwun Tong, residents say

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 May, 2011, 12:00am

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Kwun Tong residents and a lawmaker have rejected a government engineering recommendation and want a bridge - and monorail - to be built to connect their district to the future Kai Tak redevelopment.

The proposed 8-kilometre rail link would cost less than HK$5 billion to build in three years, according to lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

He said he would meet representatives from the Development Bureau to talk about the redevelopment plan, which a bureau spokesman said would be completed soon.

Residents said their district had been left economically stagnant. A link to the Kai Tak redevelopment would bring new life to it.

'The [cruise] terminal will bring in as many as 9,000 tourists a day to Kai Tak. It will benefit everybody to let them travel easily to lesser-travelled towns like Kwun Tong and To Kwa Wan,' Chan said.

The old town in east Kowloon needs new economic vitality, and linking it to the cruise terminal - construction of which will end in 2013 - was the best solution, he said.

The government included the bridge in the old airport development's master plan in 2006, but has not made any further progress since then, Chan said.

Residents have pushed for the bridge and monorail, so they can easily get to the future centre of Kowloon. But a study by the Civil Engineering and development Department has said the bridge might not be feasible in the short term because the construction could infringe the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance.

A Harbourfront Commission member also warned a bridge could become an eyesore, taking space from a future park on the runway.

The three-stage Kai Tak development will be completed by 2021.