Date
14 November 2018
Lawmakers from the Democratic Party held a demonstration (inset) at MTR’s headquarters on Friday, calling on the firm to offer a detailed account of subsidence incidents at railway stations. Photos: Xinhua, Now News
Lawmakers from the Democratic Party held a demonstration (inset) at MTR’s headquarters on Friday, calling on the firm to offer a detailed account of subsidence incidents at railway stations. Photos: Xinhua, Now News

More subsidence cases feared at MTR light rail route sites

Cases of suspected subsidence involving structures at two light rail stations in Tin Shui Wai have been reported by residents in the neighborhood, adding to concerns about soil conditions at some MTR Corp work sites. 

Before MTR, Hong Kong’s railway operator, confirmed that subsidence had been noticed at the Yuen Long light rail station, people in the New Territories West have alerted their elected representatives about cases in Tin Shui Wai where some structures are suspected to have sunk a little.

The problem is suspected to have occurred at the Wetland Park and Tin Sau stops.

People became aware of the incidents by following the construction monitor markings, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Responding to media inquiries, MTR said in a statement that the two stops are not among the 64 sites being monitored for subsidence.

Lawmakers from the Democratic Party, meanwhile, held a demonstration at MTR’s headquarters on Friday, asking the railway operator to offer a detailed account of the subsidence incidents at multiple railway stations, as well as the notification mechanism concerned.

MTR and the Transport and Housing Bureau should make public the list of 64 sites being checked, said Roy Kwong Chun-yu, one of the lawmakers who took part in the protest.

Authorities should take measures to ally the public’s concerns regarding the safety of rail structures, he said. 

Kwong said he won’t rule out invoking the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance to demand an account from MTR after Legco’s summer break, if MTR chose not to disclose the relevant information.

Alice Mak Mei-kuen from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions said MTR’s approach on handling the subsidence incidents is unacceptable, as the operator has only been disclosing information “bit by bit”.

Mak asked the firm to proactively offer an account of the subsidence conditions and corresponding proposals to follow up on the incidents.

MTR on Friday confirmed a case of subsidence at the Yuen Long light rail station.

The railway operator noticed on Wednesday that there has been slight subsidence at a nearby rail section and an overhead line mast, RTHK quoted the firm as saying.

As the subsidence is less than 20 millimeters, it is not necessary to stop construction works near the Yuen Long light rail stop, it said.

Rail operations remain safe, and the government has been notified, the company said.

Earlier, two viaduct pillars near the Yuen Long West Rail station were found to have sunk by at least two centimeters, forcing a halt to a nearby construction project, RTHK noted in its report.

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JC/RC

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