Wang Chau villagers prepare for guard duty

Local | Chan Ho-him 11 Nov 2016

Wang Chau residents will guard the entrances of three villages that the government will bulldoze for a public housing site to prevent officials from entering the area today.

Government officers are expected to distribute notices in Fung Chi Tsuen, Yeung Uk San Tsuen and Wing Ning Tsuen informing residents that a public road connecting Long Ping Road will be built through the villages.

The Executive Council on Tuesday endorsed the road construction plan, which will be gazetted today, according to villagers, who said opposition voiced against the plan had been ignored.

Villager and organizer Rain Lam said yesterday dozens of villagers will stage a sit-in protest at the four entrances to the villages, blocking officials' access. Lam said the protest will be "peaceful and non- violent," but added that "if the officials are unfriendly to senior villagers, we may have to act and protect ourselves."

The Lands Department said their officials will not enter the villages today.

But the Civil Engineering and Development Department is currently working on land arrangements for the road plans in Wang Chau, and will notify affected villages after the gazetting, according to its spokesman.

Fung Chi Tsuen resident Patrick Cheung said he felt frustrated over the development plan, saying the villagers will not leave and will guard the entrances today as "the last resort."

Villagers will have to move out by January 2018 if the plan goes ahead.

Villagers also plan to file a judicial review against the government for not acquiring an environmental impact assessment report for the 34-hectare Wang Chau project before starting the road construction.

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