Monstrosity is cutting a hole in our lives

AS A shopkeeper and resident of Hollywood Road who stares forlornly down the hole at the junction of Old Bailey Street, Cochrane Street and Hollywood Road, I would like to suggest the long-suffering shopkeepers and residents along the twisting route of themonstrous escalator be awarded endurance medals.

My experiences are not the worst that have happened to the many who are suffering through this wretched interlude, but they may serve to enlighten (if that is possible) those in Government who gave assent to this manifestly ludicrous undertaking.

Having lived in Hongkong for more than 20 years, I am acquainted with Government officials at many levels and I have been amused by their disclaimers of involvement in this enterprise.

And as the delays become more protracted they try to distance themselves further. I can find no one who has a good word to say about it.

As my place of business is in front of the infamous hole, I have come in for plenty of grief.

Last July, for instance, my shop was flooded with saline water from a ruptured flushing main. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock was ruined or damaged, and hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be spent on new wiring, carpets, repainting, and storage of inventory, to say nothing of loss of business while the shop was closed.

I have not been compensated a cent.

I know we live in an age that stands responsible for nothing, but this has been carried to extreme lengths. At one point I half began to believe I had slipped down the hole and driven an axe through the pipe.

I have no real quarrel with the workmen, nor with the ''chief pacifier'' Mr Keung, who comes to soothe the afflicted on behalf of the prime contractors.

I would like to be introduced to the presiding geniuses who oversee this work. LUCILLE B. VESSA Hollywood Road