Some residents in Tsuen Wan have criticized law enforcement agencies for allegedly failing to act on their complaint about foreign domestic helpers who have been occupying sidewalks near their homes apparently to do part-time jobs for logistics companies during weekend holidays.
The complainants, most of them residing near Lik Sang Plaza on Castle Peak Road, said the maids are often seen on Sundays packing various household items in boxes and then leaving them on the pavements for logistics workers to collect and transport by truck, Metro Daily reports.
Stakeouts by reporters from the newspaper confirmed that quite a number of foreign maids were seen stuffing various household goods in large boxes along Fu Wing Street, Wun Tung Street and other streets nearby.
A woman surnamed Chan said the packed goods left no room for pedestrians to walk on.
She said while the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has been stepping up its campaign against illegal shopfront extensions since September, it has done nothing to tackle the nuisance, and that has infuriated many residents in the area.
As of end-October, at least 1,038 notices have been issued under the Fixed Penalty (Public Cleanliness & Obstruction) Ordinance against shops that extend their selling area onto the pavements, FEHD data showed. Violators are slapped a fine of HK$1,500.
But residents complained that the boxes left by the maids on the pavements are causing a bigger nuisance and inconvenience to pedestrians than the shop extensions.
One of the maids told Metro Daily they were recruited through their acquaintances by various logistics and courier firms to help pack items for shipment.
Most of the maids are from Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan.
They admitted that they did not tell their employers about their sideline because that would be a breach of their employment contracts.
They said maids are engaged in the same activity to earn extra money along Dyer Avenue in Hung Hom and Sugar Street in Causeway Bay.
According to one maid, the job can help her earn HK$200 each Sunday, or HK$800 a month, which is a considerable amount compared to her monthly pay of around HK$4,000.
Responding to the newspaper’s enquiries, a spokesman for the FEHD said several officers have been sent to the streets mentioned by the complainants to check on the maids’ activities.
Kot Siu-yuen, a member of the Tsuen Wan District Council, said he has received a lot of complaints from local residents about the sidewalk occupation.
The council has scheduled a meeting on Nov. 29 to discuss the problem and will ask the authorities to enforce the law.
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