Five reasons to oppose Carrie Lam’s artificial island – apart from its massive price tag
The Task Force on Land Supply is merely a lame charade in which the fat cats have resurrected something similar to scenario C under the airport development plan of 1989, estimated at HK$112 billion at the time.
The ceiling of HK$500 billion (US$64 billion) for the reclaimed island off the coast of Lantau (“In tomorrow’s world, Hong Kong’s leader sees a massive HK$500 billion artificial island in middle of the sea, home to 1.1 million people”, October 10) grossly underestimates the costs of the project, including infrastructure such as tunnels and bridges. This number requires multiplication by three to five times to be realistic. Even the small, overdue Heung Yuen Wai border crossing has reached HK$34 billion so far.
Besides the dishonesty of the government, I am against the reclamation plan for five reasons.
First, the plan does not solve our housing problems: the poor will just get poorer. Second, plenty of land is available elsewhere in Hong Kong: brownfield sites, fringes of country parks and other areas with reasonable infrastructure which could be developed, such as Clear Water Bay and border areas.
Third, the timescale of completion of this island scheme is too long: we need land now. We will have at least another 1 million residents coming to Hong Kong from the mainland over the next 20 years.
Fourth, it is foolish to generate environmental problems and pollution and also to ignore the threats of climate change. Finally, the island’s isolation of residents will generate the same sort of social problems as in our New Territories new towns. If the Task Force on Land Supply has any credibility at all it should promote other workable strategies to solve our major housing crisis.
Peter A. Tanner, Sai Wan Ho