Two fishing zones in Central and Tai Po – proposed by the chief executive in last year’s policy address and costing HK$5 million in total – are expected to open to the public next month, the government has said. The announcement by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department came after the plan in Tai Po was approved only last month following a cost cut of more than half the original budget and a change in location. Last year, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced a pilot scheme to establish angling zones in venues managed by the department in Central, Tai Po and Tsing Yi. But the proposals in Tai Po and Tsing Yi were shot down by district councillors over concerns of high costs and water quality. In January, the department submitted a revised plan to the Tai Po District Council, which saw the proposed cost reduced from HK$3.5 million to HK$1.5 million, and the location changed from Pak Shek Kok Promenade to a pier near Tai Po Waterfront Park. Lau Yung-wai, a district councillor in Tai Po who opposed the initial plan, said it was “a waste of taxpayers’ money”, and that the original location was not especially popular among anglers. But Lau said he did not reject the revised plan as the cost was reduced significantly and new facilities such as water coolers could benefit residents. While Cheng Lai-king, a Central and Western district councillor, welcomed the additions, she raised concerns over the water quality at the fishing zone in Central Promenade, advising people not to consume the fish caught there. Kun Hon-man, an avid angler, felt the project did not serve much purpose as those who fish did not like being restricted in an area, and would move around according to where they had a higher chance of scoring a catch. The department said that it was planning its next move for the Tsing Yi project based on feedback from the Kwai Tsing District Council. The department added it planned to conduct a review in a year’s time and would consider similar projects in other areas if response was good.