Letters to the Editor, August 28, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 August, 2013, 3:20am

Departments appear to be wasting water

I refer to the article by Christy Choi ("Getting the waste out of our water", August 19), which reports that the amount of freshwater available in the reservoirs and water-catchment areas falls well below the global scarcity level.

I question whether government departments responsible for water are co-operating and co-ordinated on this problem. Recently, the Drainage Services Department commissioned its massive Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel, which runs beneath Mid-Levels all the way from Tai Hang to Pok Fu Lam. The principal purpose is to capture storm water from the north side of Hong Kong Island via multiple intake chutes before it floods the low-lying districts, such as Sheung Wan and Wan Chai.

It appears common sense that this huge source of fresh water from the northern watershed should feed and boost the Water Supplies Department's Aberdeen and Pok Fu Lam reservoirs.

However, I doubt that the tunnel and the reservoirs are connected because water only enters this tunnel in storm conditions and in normal days the water entering the culverts bypasses the tunnel chutes and runs into Victoria harbour.

Will the directors of the Drainage Services and Water Supplies departments advise through these columns why this most valuable of resources is being allowed to flush into the harbour?

Apparently we are not only wasting water, but also taxpayers' money because we must purchase our water shortfall from Guangdong province.

Frank Lee, Mid-Levels


Victims need more help in fight for justice

I am sure many readers can still remember the Manila hostage crisis three years ago which resulted in eight Hong Kong citizens being killed in the shootings.

Despite the passage of time, it is clear from press reports that those who were injured have not made full recoveries and still require medical treatment. They are still waiting to get fair treatment from the government of the Philippines, including compensation.

I also feel that they have not been given the assistance that they need in pursuit of their claims by the Hong Kong or central governments. These administrations have let down their citizens.

Beijing and Hong Kong must do more to get the government in Manila to take responsibility for what happened.

I would also like to see a foundation established to which we can donate money so that they can get help with their medical fees.

Gabbie Lau, Hung Hom


Plight of city's elderly who are left alone

People are so busy in Hong Kong.

They work long hours and don't have enough time to relax. Many citizens, when they do have a day off, prefer to hang out with friends rather than visit their parents.

I recently visited the home of an elderly man who lives alone in Kwun Tong.

His flat was very cluttered, with a lot of dust, and I wondered why there was nobody around to help him clean up. He was a very nice, talkative person and shared a lot of experiences with me.

When I asked him if he had any children, he became sad and said that they were so busy they seldom had time to visit. They would only get together for dinner once a year for Lunar New Year. He sounded extremely sad.

Before leaving I said I would visit him again.

It also made me appreciate the importance of families and I promised myself that, no matter how busy I was, I would always spare time for my family.

I think it is important for Hongkongers to find the time to do this.

Lor Tsz-ching, Shun Lee


Beaches are littered with river's refuse

What is the Hong Kong government doing about the rubbish that flows down the Pearl River and onto Hong Kong's beaches?

There has been so much rubbish on the beaches recently that the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, government workers and beach goers is not enough to solve this huge problem.

Is anyone talking to the various local governments north of the border to discuss mitigation measures?

Nick Shearman, Lamma


Better quality for KMB customers

I refer to the letter from Chris Lee regarding interchange fares for Gold Coast passengers using KMB route 52X to feed into the bus interchange station situated on the nearby Tuen Mun Road ("Full fares at interchange a rip-off scheme", August 18).

Since it came into operation in December, the interchange, with its state-of-the-art real time bus arrival information system, has captured the imagination of the public and succeeded in improving the quality of the customer experience markedly. Benefits include a wider choice of destinations, reduced end-to-end journey times and the offering of attractive fare incentives to many interchange passengers.

In general terms, a free interchange is offered in those cases where passengers are transferring from a higher fare route to a lower fare route, whereas those passengers travelling from a lower fare route to a higher one will often pay only the difference between the two fares. That said, our fare incentives are tailored to reduce the likelihood of any conflict between the interests of short-feeder passengers and those longer-haul passengers travelling between the New Territories and the urban areas.

Notwithstanding the above, I am delighted to report that following a recent review of the new travel patterns and after due consideration of passenger feedback such as that from your correspondent, even greater flexibility will be offered to our customers in future. The combination of journeys that qualify for interchange fare incentives will be greatly extended so that it will soon become possible for passengers travelling from the Gold Coast to use long haul routes such as 52X to feed into the interchange station and travel onwards at a zero or greatly discounted fare.

More details will be released in due course. In the meantime, passengers from the Gold Coast can still enjoy the full range of interchange fare incentives by using short-haul routes 53 and 61M as feeder services from the Gold Coast to the interchange station.

Mark Savelli, transport development director, KMB


CY speech led to heightened tensions

I refer to the letter by Tommy Chan ("Students were wrong to criticise CY", August 22).

I agree that primary school teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze did not behave properly towards police, but that does not mean that students [at the University of Hong Kong] were wrong to criticise Leung Chun-ying.

Our chief executive has a responsibility to maintain social harmony. However, his speech at a meet-the-people forum increased tensions between pro-and anti-government factions outside the event.

I do not mean that Mr Leung's speech was not objective, but it was a case of bad timing.

The students were not wrong in pointing out that the chief executive increased tensions between factions.

Alice Tam Yee-ching, Kwai Chung