The Task Force (Black Spots) (TFB) was set up in 1994 to clean up environmental
'black spots' that arose in the 1980s as a result of the massive conversion
of agricultural land into open storage sites, container depots and vehicle
parking/repairing sites in the New Territories. During the year, 286 sites
covering 28.09 hectares were improved, making a cumulative total of 2
309 sites comprising 275.40 hectares of land.
The TFB provided support in the identification of
suitable new sites for uses relating to container freight/open storage
activities and during the year disposed of two sites by way of public
tender. It also promoted improvements to the infrastructure in areas zoned
for open storage related uses and coordinated government departmental
action in the prevention and control of illegal dumping of waste.
The Property Management Unit manages properties that
are resumed, surrendered or lease-expired. During the year, nine properties
were taken over for management, making a cumulative total of 462. Thirteen
properties were sold and 19 let on a short-term basis.
Important advances continue to be made in the area
of slope safety maintenance. Identification of the parties responsible
for maintenance of registered man-made slopes is an ongoing exercise that
is associated with the slope registration system operated by the Geotechnical
Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering Department. The public can
use the Internet (at the Lands Department's website) to identify the parties
responsible for the maintenance of registered man-made slopes. The Slope
Maintenance Responsibility Information System on the Internet has been
enhanced with an option to display information in simplified Chinese characters
in addition to traditional Chinese characters and English.
The Lands Department is responsible for maintaining
about 16 900 registered man-made slopes on government land that are not
allocated to other maintenance departments. The department's Slope Maintenance
Section, with the assistance of private consultants, carries out regular
inspections of these slopes and employs contractors to undertake routine
maintenance works and, where required, stabilisation works. The works
are prioritised according to the level of risk posed to life and property
in the event of landslides. During the year, routine works were carried
out on 3 400 slopes and stabilisation works on 116 slopes.
In order to improve the environment and the state
of housing in New Territories villages, District Lands Offices grant indigenous
villagers permission to build small houses and approve the rebuilding
of old village houses. They also issue short-term tenancies or short-term
waivers and government land licences for rebuilding temporary domestic
In control and enforcement, the Lands Department implements
measures to prevent illegal use of unallocated government land, such as
unauthorised occupation, dumping, excavation, cultivation or trespassing.
Apart from taking preventive measures, such as fencing-off of vacant government
land or deploying security guards at 'black spots', the District Lands
Offices take enforcement action against offenders under the Land (Miscellaneous
Provision) Ordinance and the Summary Offences Ordinance. Clearance action
to maintain and improve the environment of government land is also taken
A scheme to better manage the display of non-commercial
publicity materials at roadsides was implemented jointly by the Lands
Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in April.
The objective is to provide an efficient arrangements for display of such
materials without compromising traffic safety or the streetscape. At year-end,
21 215 designated spots for displaying banners in public places were under
the administrative aegis of the Lands Department.