Expected noise pollution forces KCRC to book Cultural Centre for two months The KCRC plans to book the entire Cultural Centre for two months to avoid disrupting daytime performances after major construction work on the Kowloon Southern Link begins in September. State-of-the-art tunnelling methods, to be used in the city for the first time, will pass through the area and are also expected to cause major traffic disruptions in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui during the 18-month construction phase. Performers at the Cultural Centre, some of whom are known to demand the centre switch off air-conditioning during performances, believe such disturbances at the city's main theatre and concert venue will be unacceptable. Anticipating these concerns, the KCRC has booked out all the venue's daytime slots for two months, as KCRC senior director Lee Kang-kuen told legislators yesterday. 'We scheduled our work in the morning because most major performances are carried out at night, and we will try our best to avoid working on their busy nights,' Mr Lee said, when reporting to the Legco Transport Panel on the project's progress. If the KCRC pays the centre's going rates for full daytime functions - at a maximum rental of $28,300 a day - booking the centre for two months could cost the rail operator as much as $1.7 million. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said the KCRC had yet to book the Cultural Centre. 'According to information provided by KCRC, the construction would be in closest proximity to the Cultural Centre in March and April 2007,' a spokesman for the department said. He added that the company would not enjoy any discount in booking the centre, which for a morning session was about $16,000. The construction work, which will be carried out by a slurry-type tunnel boring machine, is considered by engineers to be the best alternative to a conventional cut-and-cover method, which would require excavation of Salisbury and Canton roads. But traffic will be disrupted in the area, as engineers expect to close lanes on Salisbury Road, after drilling starts in September. A site liaison group co-chaired by the KCRC, the Highways Department, police and various government departments will monitor the situation. The 3.8km-long extension, which will link East Rail to West Rail, will run from the East Tsim Sha Tsui terminal along Salisbury Road, Canton Road and via Olympian City in Tai Kok Tsui to the Nam Cheong Station. Legislator Lau Kong-wah told Mr Lee he feared the construction work might dampen business in the area and its vibrations would damage nearby buildings. Mr Lee said his engineers had carefully assessed the construction work's impact on the environment and were satisfied that this fell within acceptable standards.