District Councillor Bill Tang has condemned the government over the lack of progress in building out the MTR line to Tung Chung West.
He said the government’s 2014 railway strategy had “made a clear commitment” to extend the Tung Chung Line out to western Tung Chung by 2024.
Construction of the new station, which would service Yat Tung, the new Area 39 and forthcoming Tung Chung West projects, was due to start in 2020, Tang pointed out at last week’s Islands District Council meeting.
But so far the MTR Corp and the Transport & Housing Bureau had given no indication of the progress and had not begun any public consultation.
“As I understand it, initial design, research and exploration take 18 to 24 months, followed by public consultation and detailed design,” he said, suggesting the government was at risk of falling behind its target of a 2020 start.
Tang, who represents Yat Tung North on the Islands District Council, said the lack of progress showed the government was “neglecting the livelihood of the people in the district and deserves to be condemned.”
In a written response, the Transport Bureau said it had received a proposal just last month from MTR Corp on possible development the Tung Chung East and West stations. But it could give no further details.
“The actual implementation of the project will depend on the subsequent detailed engineering, environmental and financial research findings, and the latest assessment of passenger demand and the adequacy of resources,” it said.
The government has not set a precise timetable for the Tung Chung West residential development, but has said the first people are likely to move in in the early 2020s.
Preliminary work on the project, which will provide 14,000 apartments near Shek Mun Kap and Lung Tseng Tau, is now underway, the CEDD said in a submission to the District Council in December.
But work on Housing Authority apartments in Tung Chung area 39 , adjacent to the YMCA College, is nearly complete. It will provide 3,800 rental apartments that will hold an estimated population of more than 11,000.
Photo (top): Nearly-completed Housing Authority project at Tung Chung Area 39