Date
17 December 2017
MTR has a flawed management structure that wastes time and money, an unnamed project engineer says. Photo: Bloomberg
MTR has a flawed management structure that wastes time and money, an unnamed project engineer says. Photo: Bloomberg

Express rail delay exposes MTR management flaw

Management problems, not bad weather, are to blame for delays in Hong Kong’s cross-border high-speed rail project, according to some media reports Wednesday.

MTR Corp. (MTR) (00066.HK) has a flawed project management structure that slows the building process and wastes time, Apple Daily reported, citing an unnamed engineer on the HK$67 billion (US$8.64 billion) railway that will link Hong Kong with Guangzhou.

“If any problem is found, the contractor has to go back to MTR rather than deal directly with the concerned party. This is a waste of time and human resources,” the source was quoted as saying.

“This complicated structure is fine for subways but not for a project as big as a high-speed rail.”

In a commentary, Ming Pao said the delay has exposed poor management at the railway company.

It said the issue raises questions regarding transparency after MTR chairman Raymond Chien made assurances last year that the project would not be delayed or over-budget.

Also, it said Acting Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung “acted like he knew nothing when he said he was surprised about the delay, given that he is on the board of MTR”.

On Tuesday, the government said work on the railway had been delayed after last month’s heavy rains damaged a tunnel boring machine and problems were found during construction of the West Kowloon terminus. 

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

AM/JP/RA

 

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