After flaws were revealed recently in construction works at MTR’s Hung Hom station in relation to the HK$87.3 billion Shatin-Central Link (SCL), there are allegations now that another station on that same upcoming rail line has also seen some improper work.
The latest suspicions are centered on works at the To Kwa Wan Station, Apple Daily reports.
According to the newspaper, a layer of steel bars that was supposed to be in place to reinforce a 30-meter-long wall was found removed, in a suspected contractor attempt to cover up work deficiencies.
The incident took place early this year and the contractor in question was a joint venture between Samsung C & T and Hsin Chong Group Holdings, the paper said in a report Monday.
As Samsung-Hsin Chong Joint Venture found the wall that should have been reinforced by two layers of steel bars was about 20 to 50 mm longer than what the construction drawing asked for, workers were reportedly instructed to cut off one layer to meet the original requirement.
A source was quoted as saying that the removed steel bars accounted for at least one-tenth of the area of the wall, which is located at the upper one of the station’s two planned underground platforms.
Following the report, lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching, who belongs to the HK First group, said she had received a complaint in late April from a frontline worker involved in the station works alleging that a 30-meter-long wall next to an escalator in the station was ‘shaved away’ with steel bars.
Concrete was said to have been poured in to cover up the area.
MTR admitted on Monday that it had been notified by a contractor that some building work had not been carried out in accordance with design specifications.
A spokesman claimed that the rail operator had ordered the contractor to give an account of the incident and rectify the mistake as soon as possible. He did not divulge information as to when the rail firm learnt of the incident, but said the contractor had assured that the wall was structurally safe.
MTR will start disciplinary action if any infringement is confirmed, the spokesperson said.
So Yiu-kwan, an experienced civil and structural engineer, suggested what MTR should do now is have the concrete of the wall broken and put a layer of steel bars back into the wall.
Coming to the other scandal involving works at the Hung Hom station, MTR is scheduled to submit an investigation report to the government on Thursday.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday that she has decided to appoint a commission of inquiry to carry out an independent and comprehensive investigation into the Hung Hom incident.
The inquiry commission will be headed by Justice Michael Hartmann, former non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal, subject to necessary approvals.
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