Contractor must bear responsibility for tainted water: Minister

July 16, 2015 18:46
Anthony Cheung (right) said the Housing Authority will take charge of the investigation, but Nelson Wong (left) said it would be fairer if a third party conducted it. Photos: RTHK

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the main building contractor should bear the responsibility for lead contamination of drinking water in several housing estates, RTHK reported Thursday.

Cheung was speaking after a Hong Kong Housing Authority committee meeting about the problem. 

He said the contractor has agreed to build pipes supplying water from the rooftops to each floor of the buildings involved within three weeks.

Cheung said the authority will be in charge of follow-up.

It will form a 10-person committee to review the regulatory system for the construction industry with regard to construction materials, quality verification and work procedures.

Cheung said it will take time to investigate the cause of the excessive lead in the supply of drinking water.

Nelson Wong Sing-chi, a Housing Authority committee member, said a participant in the meeting suggested that a third party, such as a judge, lead the investigation.

One member suggested granting compensation to affected residents by a rent reduction or waiver, but no consensus was reached, Wong said.

Members of the Civic Party protested outside the headquarters of the authority Thursday at its negligence.

They called on the government to present the results of all the water tests it was doing as soon as possible.

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EJ Insight intern reporter