Omission in plans for tourist area had perplexed retailers and councillors The KCRC and the government will re-examine the feasibility of building a station in Canton Road following outrage that plans for the proposed Kowloon Southern Link rail line overlook one of the city's busiest tourist and shopping areas. The about-face by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation also came after representatives of Wharf (Holdings) told members of Legco's transport panel yesterday that its latest proposal for the station would cost a fraction of the $3 billion price of the KCRC's original plan. The property company's chief manager for external relations, Frankie Yick Chi-ming, told legislators and district councillors that the latest proposal would cost 15 to 20 per cent of the earlier estimate. KCRC and Wharf have been at odds over the building of a station in Canton Road along the Kowloon Southern Link, a 3.8km passenger rail line linking the West Rail terminus at Nam Cheong station with the East Rail's Tsim Sha Tsui East station, now under construction. The rail line, expected to cost about $8.3 billion, will be completed by 2009 if work starts next year. Retailers in Canton Road and district councillors for the area had expected the KCRC to put a station on the busy street, a main commercial, tourism and entertainment point. But when the scheme was gazetted in March, only the West Kowloon station was included. Henry Chan Man-yu, chairman of the Yau Tsim Mong District Council, said he was perplexed by the omission, given the street's importance. 'The more I listen, the more confused I am,' Mr Chan said. Legislator Abraham Razack said: 'Government has to take a stronger stance ... and force the KCRC to build the [Canton Road] station'. Wharf's new plan involves building a station in 50,000 sq ft of space now occupied by the underground car park of the World Finance Centre, part of Wharf's Harbour City development on Canton Road. The new study, which will look at the economic benefits of the station and the technical feasibility of Wharf's plan, is set for completion by mid-September, when it will be presented to legislators. The latest proposal stands in marked contrast to the KCRC's original request that Wharf demolish the office tower and replace it with a development that would include the Canton Road station in the design. Mr Yick said the new cost-estimate was based on land costs and the likely impact of construction on its property holdings. The KCRC's move to omit the station from the plan has been seen as a tactic to lower the line's development costs and push Wharf, Canton Road's largest landlord, to foot more of the bill for a station from which it stands to benefit. The Canton Road Association, which mainly comprises Wharf and retailers in its properties, early this month urged the transport panel to investigate.