HK government to make funding plea for Lantau Tomorrow Vision project next week, source says

17-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s government will press ahead with its controversial plan to build artificial islands for housing, and will ask lawmakers to agree funding for a preliminary study into the scheme next week, a source told the Post.

Politicians ran out of time to debate a HK$550 million (US$70.9 million) funding request for an initial study into Lantau Tomorrow Vision, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s signature policy, before the previous Legislative Council term ended in July.

According to a source who has read the Finance Committee agenda for the new Legco term, which was extended for a year because the coronavirus caused elections to be delayed, the scheme is listed as the 11th item for its meeting next Friday, after 10 funding applications for the creation of new government posts.

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The remaining item is a funding request for Strategic Studies on Railways and Major Roads beyond 2030.

Lam’s ambitious project is meant to create a 1,000-hectare site off Lantau Island for a new business district, and a maximum of 260,000 homes to be built by 2032 in the first phase.

It would also be equipped with infrastructure to reinforce Lantau’s role as a “double gateway” to the world, and the mainland’s Greater Bay Area.

However, the plan’s HK$624 billion (US$80.5 billion) price tag, and the threat to marine wildlife, has attracted criticism.

Several groups have suggested any plan would be beset by delays and cost overruns, and have argued better options exist, while doubting the need of such a huge project in light of the city’s ageing population.

Last month, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the scheme should proceed despite a dwindling fiscal reserve, as it would contribute to the city’s long-term development.


Category: Hong Kong

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