The government has promised to build a new public market in Tung Chung to meet the district’s growing population.
It’s one of a number of measures on shopping markets announced in the CE policy address earlier in October and confirmed by a senior official in responses to Legco.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is also promising to provide air-conditioning to 11 market sites and to “improve facilities and administration” at all markets, Ming Pao reports. Other new public markets are planned for Tin Shui Wai and Hung Shui Kiu.
Government planners predict that Tung Chung’s population will increase from around 80,000 residents today to approximately 268,000 by the middle of the next decade.
Tung Chung’s Yat Tung, along with Tin Shui Wai, is one of the city’s most economically-challenged areas, with high unemployment and low incomes. Many residents say they are unable to afford local supermarket prices, and take advantage of a government transport subsidy to travel to Mong Kok each week to buy food and necessities.
Community group Alliance on the Development of Public Markets has complained that the government proposal contains no detail and no timetable.
Two years ago the group recommended five sites for a new Tung Chung market, but has so far had no official response. The proposed sites include the Tung Chung Cable Station next to Tat Tung Road Garden, the Chung Wai St bus depot and the Yat Tung No. 3 car park.
The group called on the government to set out its timetable for the construction of the markets and to consult widely on site selection and the market scale.
Photo: Market, Yat Tung (Lantau News)