OFFICIALS could face a harder time forcing through reclamation
schemes if a harbour protection bill is approved.
The measures allow the Town Planning Board to approve reclamation
for essential infrastructure projects including roads and piers,
but infill for property development can only be permitted by
The bill also covers the MTR and Cross-Harbour, Eastern and
Western harbour tunnels, which were excluded from the earlier
draft last year.
The bid to close loopholes that would have allowed the Government
to use other laws to bypass the bill comes in response to public
alarm at government plans to reclaim 636 hectares of waterfront
on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
The new version will be lodged with the law draftsman today
by independent legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai.
" It has been widened to catch all the other ordinances which
the administration could use to legally get round it," said
Ms Loh's assistant, Adam Mayes.
" The bill clearly defines the role of the board and the Legislative
Council to control reclamation," he said.
A copy of the bill, which could have its first reading on March
13, will be sent to Legco President Andrew Wong Wang-fat.
The administration will face a strong challenge from the board
on March 1 when it debates controversial plans to create a public
dump in the Sulphur Channel between Western and Green Island.
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