Hong Kong villagers angry after water channel is filled in, say it could raise flood risk

Man responsible for nearby storage site says they wanted to build a road so cars could access the lot

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 8:15am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 8:15am

Residents of a Yuen Long village were up in arms on New Year’s Day when they discovered someone had begun to fill in a water channel to build their own road.

Villagers of San Tin’s Siu Hum Tsuen woke up on Sunday to find a large water pipe dumped into the channel while an excavator piled soil and waste on top of it. The villagers confronted the man in the digger who said he was just “doing his job”.

A video of the entire incident was published on the Facebook page of activist group Land Justice League.

A man who claimed to be responsible for an open air storage site nearby can be seen in the video explaining they were “opening a road” to allow vehicles to cross the channel and access the lot.

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The residents believed having a vehicular road would affect their access to the village and blocking the channel would also risk more flooding during heavy rain.

“They’ve covered our village’s drainage channel, poured waste fill over it and when they lay a few metal sheets over it, it becomes a road,” said one villager, surnamed Ng.

Ng said police were called, but arrived only after the excavator had left and refused to get involved.The district lands office had not yet followed up with the case, according to villagers.

On Monday afternoon, the hollow water pipe remained in the water channel. Debris and construction waste was scattered over the site.

Villagers have reported extensive environmental damage, filling and tree felling in the area in recent weeks. With the help of the Land Justice League, residents lodged a complaint with the Legislative Council last week. The Lands Department was not able to immediately provide comment on the case.