Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung urged lawmakers to approve the new budget for the construction of the express rail link before the end of February, warning that their refusal to do so would result in enormous cost to society.
Cheung said the new budget of HK$84.42 billion does not include the extra costs that may be incurred should the construction be forced to end, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Thursday.
He said legislators should not neglect the potential consequences of abandoning the project simply because of their grievances over the poor performance of MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) in meeting the construction schedule and working within the budget.
Cheung also said the government is seeking to resolve the issues concerning the co-location immigration clearance for the cross-border rail link under the established legal framework of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle.
Meanwhile, MTR chief executive Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen expressed confidence the company will gain the support of minority shareholders for the rail link project at its shareholders’ meeting on Monday.
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