Some 200 residents of Western district held a rally yesterday to urge the government to approve the MTR Corp's proposal to build a West Island Line. Chan Kwok-kwong, a spokesman for the organisers, said he felt helpless after campaigning for the extension for more than 20 years. But he said the rail company's new proposal, which suggests building a line to Kennedy Town and Cyberport and a South Island line to Aberdeen, had given him and his colleagues a glimmer of hope. 'It looks quite good,' he said. 'And the MTR is quite aggressive this time as it sent its staff to meet us to promote the proposal.' He said it would be unfair for residents in the district not to have an MTR line. 'Because of traffic problems, sometimes it can take me 45 minutes to travel on a bus from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town,' he said. 'This is ridiculous because I could walk from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town in 45 minutes.' Other participants, chanting slogans, shared Mr Chan's view. Jeffrey Leung Yu-tak, a Form One student who lives in Western and goes to school in Mongkok, said he was often nearly late for class because of traffic jams in Western. 'It takes only 10 minutes to go from Central to Mongkok by MTR,' he said, 'but going to Admiralty from Sai Ying Pun needs at least 20 minutes.' His brother, Philip Leung Yu-fat, who is in Primary Five, said he was envious of classmates who could travel on the MTR all the time. 'The traffic in Sai Ying Pun is so troublesome,' he said. Mr Chan said the only obstacle now was the government's unwillingness to finance the proposed lines. The MTR Corp has asked the government to bear half of the $15 billion construction costs. Their calls were echoed by senior political figures. DAB legislator Choy So-yuk said the MTR Corp had set the cost too high and urged the corporation to lower costs by using trains of fewer carriages. Democratic Party legislator Yeung Sum said the government should give serious thought to approving the proposal and bearing the cost because 'it has more money now'.