Hong Kong 2003
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Drainage Services

Flood Prevention Infrastructure

The Drainage Services Department is implementing a series of major flood control projects in the New Territories and in West Kowloon, costing about $12 billion.

In the north-western New Territories, improvement works to about 20 kilometres of the major river network have been completed. These cover the lower and middle reaches of the Shan Pui River, the lower and middle reaches of the Kam Tin River near Yuen Long Nam San Wai, the Ngau Tam Mei main drainage channel, and the upper reaches of the Kam Tin River near Kam Tin San Tsuen and Shek Wu Tong. As a result, the flood risk in the surrounding areas has been relieved.

Construction of the Yuen Long Bypass Floodway commenced in January. Upon its completion in 2006, the flooding problem in Yuen Long new town areas will be resolved. Construction of the San Tin eastern main drainage channel commenced in 2002 and, upon its completion in late 2005, the flood risk in San Tin will be reduced. Design work for the San Tin western drainage channel is under way.

In the northern New Territories, the critical flood mitigation undertakings include the Shenzhen River Regulation Project and the rehabilitation of the River Ganges, which are aimed at improving the downstream outlets for rivers in the Sheung Shui and Ta Kwu Ling areas. The first undertaking is a joint project between the HKSAR Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, and the Stage I and Stage II works on the Shenzhen River have been completed. These works, together with the completion of river training works in the lower and mid-stream of the River Indus and the River Beas, have basically eliminated the risk for formerly flood-prone villages in the Lo Wu, Tin Ping Shan and Ho Sheung Heung areas.

The Stage III works in the Shenzhen River project have commenced in phases since 2001 and are scheduled for completion in early 2006. These works include the training of four kilometres of the river's channel from Lo Wu to its confluence with the River Ganges.

To tackle the flooding problem in the Ta Kwu Ling area, a drainage rehabilitation scheme for 1.7 kilometres of the River Ganges is under way for completion at the end of 2005. Design work for another 21.5 kilometres of drainage channels in the northern New Territories is also in hand, including the upstream portions of the rivers Ganges, Beas and Indus, and the Ma Wat and Kau Lung Hang channels. On completion of these remaining river training works, the regional flooding problem in the northern New Territories will have been overcome.

In addition to the river training works, village flood pumping schemes have been implemented to protect low-lying villages from flood hazards. These schemes involve construction of bunds around villages and pumping of stormwater from within the bunded area to an outside channel during rainstorms. Construction of a village flood pumping scheme for Chuk Yuen Tsuen and Ha San Wai, near Fairview Park in Yuen Long, was completed in March, eliminating the flood risk in this 'black spot'. Altogether, 21 schemes are now in operation. Similar schemes for Ma Tin and Shui Pin Wai are under construction for completion in early 2004. Two more schemes at Wang Chau, and Mai Po Lo Wai and Mai Po San Tsuen are under construction. Another two schemes, at Shui Pin Tsuen and Tai Kiu, are at the detailed design stage.

In West Kowloon, the Stage I drainage improvement works, which commenced in 1998, were completed in mid-year. These works included laying about 10 kilometres of stormwater drains in Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Kowloon Tong, Sham Shui Po and Lai Chi Kok. Drainage improvement works have also been completed at Nathan Road between Boundary Street and Nullah Road, providing initial relief to the flooding problem in Mong Kok.

The Stage II works, which commenced in phases in late 1999 and 2001, are scheduled for completion in 2004. These works include improvements to about 23 kilometres of stormwater drains in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Cheung Sha Wan and Lai Chi Kok. This stage also includes the construction of large flood storage tank underneath the Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground in Mong Kok and a 1.5-kilometre stormwater transfer tunnel from Kowloon Tong to Kai Tak Nullah. The Stage III works also are under way for completion in 2007. These works include laying about 11 kilometres of stormwater drains in Yau Ma Tei.

The department has completed seven Drainage Master Plan (DMP) Studies to review the condition and performance of the existing stormwater drainage systems in various flood-prone areas throughout Hong Kong. Phase I of the drainage improvement works as recommended in the Studies commenced in December 2001 in Yuen Long areas. Further packages of drainage improvement works for other regions have been included in the Public Works Programme and are at different planning and detailed design stages. Another DMP Study for southern Hong Kong Island commenced in September 2002 for completion in 2004, aiming at devising long-term and short-term measures to upgrade the stormwater drainage system so as to cope with current and future development needs.

Under a preventive maintenance programme, the public drainage system is regularly inspected and desilted before and during the rainy seasons. These preventive measures ensure that stormwater is discharged effectively, and prevent blockages and overflows which may cause flooding and nuisance to the public.

In 2003, the department maintained about 3 223 kilometres of watercourses, river channels and drains, from which about 60 000 cubic metres of silt were removed. To provide effective drainage services, the department operates a 24-hour drainage hotline service to receive complaints from the public on blocked drains. It also operates an Emergency and Storm Damage Organisation to ensure that emergency situations are dealt with speedily and efficiently.

The department has completed a series of aesthetic improvement works to the open nullahs in East Kowloon as part of the Government's efforts in 'greening' the environment. In March 2002, it began the construction of a planter parapet to replace the granite wall along the Kai Tak Nullah in the Wong Tai Sin District, and over 10 000 shrubs were planted on the parapet to provide a green environment for residents. The project, costing $1.4 million, was substantially completed in June.

The importance of flood prevention is promoted through various public education activities. Promotional pamphlets and advisory notes are published and distributed to villagers and to property management offices before the rainy season. In addition, the department has organised site visits for District Councillors and the media to promote their understanding of the department's work and thereby enhance public awareness of what is being done to prevent flooding.

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