Ombudsman investigates destruction of 80-year-old banyan trees

Local | 4 Jun 2018 11:27 am

The Ombudsman Connie Lau has begun an investigation into whether there was maladministration in the Government’s decisions and actions in felling of two 80-year-old trees in front of Tang Chi Ngong Building of the University of Hong Kong on May 20.

They were said to a danger to pedestrians.

The felling of the two banyan trees by the Lands Department attracted wide media coverage and public debate, her office said. Some criticized that the departments concerned had not taken due care of the health conditions of the two trees, nor had they sufficiently consulted relevant experts and the local community.

The two trees had not been on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees.

Days later, in the Legislative Council, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the Government placed human lives before trees when it has to make a choice. "Of course we want citizens and trees to live together harmoniously but if they can't, sorry, human lives must have priority," Lam said.

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