Planning chief Michael Suen Ming-yeung has challenged harbour conservationists to explain in detail how their proposal to halve the Central and Wan Chai reclamation can overcome technical problems. The plan, devised by the Society for the Protection of the Harbour, aims to slash the government's proposed reclamation area from 52 hectares to 27 hectares. But Mr Suen, speaking at a public function on harbour protection yesterday, said he found 'technical insufficiency' in the society's proposed plan. 'I notice that the society in effect does not object to purposeful reclamation and reclamation aiming to resolve traffic problems. The only difference is that we share different views on the essential and needy scope of reclamation.' The society unveiled its plan last week and claims it would not compromise construction of the Central and Wan Chai bypass and a harbour promenade. But Mr Suen reiterated official comments that the society's plan did not take into account the need for a protected seawall, while there were also technical problems in relocation of public piers and cooling and pumping systems. 'I hope the general public can understand the government's role is to balance the interests of different parties,' he said. 'The public interest is our underlying concern in formulating policies. 'If we are to scrap the last part of the reclamation and abandon the road project, are we really willing to see congestion in the areas around Central and the economic loss brought by this?'