Environmental groups are accusing the government of damaging part of a 16-hectare wetland and mangrove area in Tai Po with an underground sewage construction project, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
The sewage project is part of a wider effort to improve public transport and community facilities in preparation for the opening of the 500,000 square foot Tsz Shan Monastery later this year.
Large-scale excavation has caused water pollution in the wetlands, the report said, citing local residents.
The Drainage Services Department (DSD) has created an artificial wetland next to the existing conservation area to compensate for potential damage from construction work. Plans to expand it are under way, the report said.
However, these measures will take longer to work than the government’s standard three-year wetland rehabilitation cycle, Ng Hei-man, a campaign manager of The Conservancy Association, was quoted as saying.
Tsz Shan Monastery, which began construction 10 years ago, features a 76-meter bronze statue of the Buddhist goddess Guan Yin. The project is partly funded by a HK$1.5 billion donation from Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing.
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