A survey shows that people want the government to get serious with owners Four out of five people polled in a recent survey have called for a cleanup of all dirty private streets and alleyways, giving the Legislative Council extra ammunition at today's meeting to pressure the government to take control of all poorly managed streets. The telephone survey conducted by the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong over the past 12 days will be used to force the issue at a Legco motion debate today. Last month, the government's Team Clean, led by Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, unveiled its list of measures for cleaning up the city. Its interim report identified many back lanes and private streets said to be 'principle sources of filth and vermin which not only affect the appearance of our city but also threaten public health'. The report said the government would resort to an 'act now, recover costs later' principle to clean up lanes and private streets - which were previously the responsibility of the owners. Of 1,027 people interviewed, 81 per cent agreed that the government should take over badly managed private streets. About 75 per cent agreed the government should compensate affected shop owners and street owners and 61 per cent agreed to putting closed-circuit television cameras in private streets to monitor hygiene and catch offenders. Another survey of 119 private street residents and private street owners also showed overwhelming support for the government to target badly managed streets. Since 1986, the government has targeted 166 private streets in urban areas for action under the Private Street Resumption Programme. Among them, 70 streets have already been placed under government control, with a further 17 to be taken over soon. Seventy-nine private streets were deleted from the programme due to fears government action could spark compensation claims and disputes over the rights of the owners in future redevelopment of the streets. The DAB deputy chairman, legislator Ip Kwok-him, who organised the survey, urged the government to take over all private streets 'once and for all'. 'These private streets are a disgrace to Hong Kong. The government should stop giving itself excuses and swiftly take back these streets ... and improve hygiene to show tourists that Hong Kong is a first-class city,' Mr Ip said. He said the 79 streets that were deleted from the programme list should be cleaned as well. 'The government only said it's difficult to clean these streets. But how can they give up so easily?' Mr Ip said. Asked if the government would incur a huge compensation bill from the resumption, Mr Ip said it was unlikely as many private street owners saw the maintenance costs of private streets as a burden. 'They would be happy to get rid of this burden and give them back to the government,' he said. 'Maintenance costs, which range from $100,000 to $200,000 for an owner, are extremely hefty,' Mr Ip said. He was confident the motion to push for such resumption would pass today. The Home Affairs Bureau said it would not comment on the survey until the end of today's debate. Meanwhile, the government issued 661 fixed-penalty notices and 113 summonses for littering and spitting from May 29 to June 4.