Government authorities have come under fire for undertaking cleaning work in a pedestrian subway and depriving shelter to homeless people during the chilly weather.
Netizens lambasted the Highways Department after a photo showed two uniformed workers washing a tunnel at a time when street-sleepers were taking refuge in the facility.
The department has failed to show consideration and sympathy for the homeless people despite the extreme cold weather, people commented on social media.
The angry reactions came after a local surnamed Tang posted a photo online which showed cleaning work inside a tunnel at Sham Shui Po, Ming Pao Daily reported.
In the accompanying text, Tang said that he took the picture on the night of Jan. 20, when the weather was fairly cold and wet, with temperatures standing at around ten degrees Celsius.
Authorities should have considered the plight of subway sleepers before doing such “cleaning” work, he suggested.
Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, secretary for Labour and Welfare, said at a LegCo meeting Monday that he has learnt about the incident from news reports and that he was concerned about the matter.
He promised to take up the issue with relevant departments, according to RTHK.
As temperatures in the city have fallen to multi-decade lows, the government would adopt flexible and humane measures when dealing with issues related to homeless people, Cheung said.
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