Drug treatment centres that fail to meet new licensing rules would not be closed but some may have to move, the Government's head of narcotics policy said yesterday. The acting Commissioner for Narcotics, Mimi Lee Mei-mei, made the promise after the South China Morning Post revealed at least 10 centres might have breached land use regulations while others had also failed to meet fire and building safety regulations. But the head of one drug help group questioned the value of the pledge, saying any forced move would come at prohibitive costs. 'I need to hire a surveyor to work out the land and buildings plan for the rezoning application. That will cost me $100,000 and the Government is not paying for it. Where am I going to get the money?' said Charles McKnelly, director of the Glorious Praise Fellowship, whose centre in Tuen Mun is in a green-belt zone. The zoning and safety regulations must be met under a licensing scheme that will come into effect in April for 14 non-government groups operating 38 treatment centres for about 700 addicts. Legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of The Frontier, who chaired the Legco bills committee that passed the law last May, said she would try to set up a special committee in the Legislative Council on Friday to resolve the problems of land use. She threatened to delay enactment of the Drug Dependent Persons Treatment and Rehabilitation Centres (Licensing) Ordinance unless the issues were resolved. 'Officials must state clearly how they would help, failing which we must delay enacting the law,' Ms Ho said. The new scheme offers a grace period of up to eight years for the NGOs to meet licensing requirements, but during this time the drug rehabilitation centres may be closed if public safety and the well-being of inmates and neighbours are said to be adversely affected. Aside from the Glorious Praise Fellowship Centre, nine other centres that were not identified must apply for new planning permits because their premises were not approved for drug treatment use, according to Ms Lee. The narcotics chief also played down the NGOs' difficulties yesterday, saying enough government resources would be allocated to help them. But she admitted the costs of compliance would only become clear after the NGOs filed their licensing applications in April. Ms Lee also would not say how many centres might ultimately have to move if they failed. 'If the NGOs are making good-faith efforts to upgrade fire safety and apply for new land use and rezoning for their premises, I see no reason to shut them down,' she said. 'We have notified the Lands Department and the Government Property Agency to give priority to search for government lands for such centres that might need to relocate.' Ms Lee also said it was the drug help groups' responsibility to meet safety laws and land use regulations and the Government was only trying to help them.