Date
19 September 2017
MTR Corp. should stop construction on a rail station site to give way to conservation work, according to some participants in yesterday's public forum. Photo: Bloomberg
MTR Corp. should stop construction on a rail station site to give way to conservation work, according to some participants in yesterday's public forum. Photo: Bloomberg

Railway and relics: Can Hong Kong have it both ways?

Song Dynasty relics unearthed near the planned To Kwa Wan station in Hong Kong’s Shatin-Central rail link have again come up for public discussion and opinions are as far apart as they have been.

In a public forum Sunday, some members of the public called for an immediate halt to construction and increased conservation efforts.

Albert Lai, chairman of the Professional Commons, proposed a museum above the site while Antiquities Advisory Board chairman Andrew Lam said construction and conservation can be carried out simultaneously because the archeological area is bigger than the station site, Apple Daily reported Monday.

In the meantime, construction work should stop until an archeological survey has been completed and a conservation plan is in place, Lai was quoted as saying.

He criticized Development Secretary Paul Chan for saying the government decided to preserve an ancient square well only because there is no planned construction near it.

Ho Hon-kuen, an expert in Chinese historical studies, said more archeologists should be invited to participate in related works and the government should make discussions transparent.

On Tuesday, Ming Pao Daily reported that MTR Corp. had resumed construction in areas that may contain the historic artifacts.

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