MTR Corporation has revealed that construction at the To Kwa Wan station on the Shatin-Central Link (SCL) will be delayed by around five months due to archaeological finds at the work site, Ming Pao Daily News reported Wednesday.
The Hong Kong rail operator is also unsure if the SCL can be operational in 2018 as scheduled, as archaeological work is still ongoing, the report said, citing Wong Wai-ming, a general manager overseeing the project.
Legislative Council transport panel vice-chairman Gary Fan has called on the MTR to observe the related legal procedures in treating the relics should there be major discoveries. He urged the public to be patient if the delay is due to important archaeological finds.
Michael Tien, legislator and former chairman of KCRC, said the MTR is capable of preserving the valuable relics by altering the architectural design plans at the station.
Legislative Council member Helena Wong cited Liu Wensuo, an archaeologist hired by the MTR, as saying that an ancient well that was found at the site dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). The well is said to be still connected to underground water sources.
Hong Kong Archaeological Society spokesperson Ng Wing-fai said it is not uncommon that an ancient well is still functional. However, it would require further tests to determine if the water is drinkable.
Wong has called on the MTR to consider building a museum above the station concourse and suspend all construction work at To Kwa Wan until the archaeological studies are completed, the report said.
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