MTR Corp. (00066.HK) knew it had hit a layer of hard rock that could complicate its cross-border high-speed rail project but went on with construction anyway, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
Consulting firm AECOM, hired by MTR in 2009 and 2010, found a layer of hard-to-break granite 13 meters below the West Kowloon terminus and presented the finding to the Hong Kong railway operator, it told legislators.
AECOM applied to the government for permission to use explosives to break through the barrier and is awaiting approval, implying officials have been aware of the problem, the report said. Also, the company said it used government data in its geological assessment reports.
Meanwhile, the MTR board will form an independent committee of non-executive directors to investigate the handling of the HK$67 billion (US$8.64 billion) railway project that will link Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
On April 15, MTR announced the project would be delayed at least a year after last month’s torrential rain damaged a tunnel boring machine and problems were found on the West Kowloon terminus construction site.
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