An attempt to stop a proposed musical fountain project in Kwun Tong has failed after the district council decided to go ahead with the plan.
The proposal has been sent to the Legislative Council for review, Apple Daily reports.
A debate over whether the project should proceed took place at a council meeting on Wednesday after several members from the pan-democratic camp demanded a new public consultation.
They included Anthony Sheik Bux of the Civic Party, Wong Chi-ken from the Kowloon East Community Concern Group and Cheng Keng-leong of the Democratic Party.
Wong said a poll by his group last year collected 10,000 signatures from residents who oppose the project and prefer to see the money used for purposes relating to medical care.
The fact that a lot of changes have taken place in the district since the proposal was tabled deserves renewed discussions, he said.
Citing statistics that show Kwun Tong has more elderly people than all other districts and the second highest number of residents living in poverty, Wong urged the council to put livelihood issues at the top of its priorities.
Council chairman Chan Chun-kit of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) said the fountain can help bring “spiritual happiness” as well as purify the minds of residents.
He said the project could help create jobs and improve harmony in the community.
Chan Kok-wah, another DAB councilor, filed a motion to end the discussions. The motion was passed by a vote of 26-7.
The council chairman then ruled that the proposal be submitted to the Legco finance committee for funding.
Faced with the result, Wong Chi-ken said the only alternative left is to ask the Legco committee to deny the council’s request for appropriation.
The musical fountain is one of two projects proposed by the Kwun Tong District Council under the government’s Signature Project Scheme.
The scheme was announced by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his 2013 Policy Address with the aim of enhancing local engagement.
The Government has reserved a one-off grant of HK$100 million for each district to implement one to two projects under the scheme, according to news website hk01.com.
The estimated cost of the fountain is HK$50 million (US$6.45 million). It will be located on the Kwun Tong promenade.
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