Date
24 May 2017
Frederick Ma (left with Anthony Cheung) is calling on lawmakers to act on new funding for the express rail link by the end of March. Cheung says the government will issue a suspension notice in the absence of new funding. Photo: HKEJ
Frederick Ma (left with Anthony Cheung) is calling on lawmakers to act on new funding for the express rail link by the end of March. Cheung says the government will issue a suspension notice in the absence of new funding. Photo: HKEJ

Govt in talks with MTR on suspending express link work

MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) and the government are in talks about suspending construction of the Hong Kong section of the national express rail link after lawmakers failed to approve HK$19.6 billion (US$2.52 billion) in extra funding on Saturday.

The government has asked for a detailed action plan from the rail operator in two weeks if the funding request is rejected by the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The government will spend HK$233 million a month to maintain different construction sites across the HK$60 billion Hong Kong leg of the mammoth project if work is suspended, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said. 

The administration expects a detailed plan that will address those maintenance costs, he said.

Lawmakers have another eight hours to review the proposal on March 11 and 18 if no additional committee meetings are scheduled. 

Cheung said the government will issue a suspension notice in the absence of new funding.

Meanwhile, MTR chairman Frederick Ma called on lawmakers to give the proposal a go by the end of March given the complexity of halting work that is already 77 percent complete.

[Chinese version中文版]

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