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Government's response to media enquiries on To Kwa Wan Station of Shatin to Central Link works project

     In response to media enquiries on To Kwa Wan Station of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) works project, a government spokesman yesterday (August 9) responded as follows:

     The MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) was entrusted by the Government for the design, construction and commissioning of the SCL project. As To Kwa Wan Station of the SCL works project is on government land, it is exempted from the Buildings Ordinance (BO). However, according to the Entrustment Agreement signed between the MTRCL and the Government, the MTRCL must assure that the quality of works is up to the standards required, including adopting the standards stated in the BO.

     The SCL To Kwa Wan Station is located underneath Ma Tau Wai Road. The works commenced in 2012 and the main station structure was substantially completed in December 2016. For safety and to ensure that the construction meets the design and statutory requirements, before the commencement of the works, the contractor will conduct surveys on the buildings in the vicinity of the site to record their condition and install monitoring points in the vicinity of some buildings, facilities and works sites to monitor the impact of the excavation works on the surrounding buildings and facilities.

     The Highways Department (HyD) will monitor the works in accordance with the three triggering levels system (i.e. alert, alarm and action) which was submitted by the MTRCL before the commencement of the works and subsequently examined. During the construction, the contractor will periodically read the data at each monitoring point in order to monitor the movement of the monitoring points. The MTRCL will compile the relevant data and report the monitoring results to the HyD on a regular basis. According to the record, the settlement of some monitoring points exceeded the alarm level during the construction. After the monitoring data exceeds the alarm level, the contractor needs to submit detailed action plan to the MTRCL and relevant departments for review, such as the addition of recharge wells, the provision of temporary support at the station site, the survey of the existing condition of the building by professional engineers, enhancing monitoring of settlement or tilting conditions and conducting building assessments, to ensure the safety of the public and buildings. If monitoring data reaches or exceeds the action level, the HyD will request the MTRCL to take appropriate remedial measures.

     Some members of the Kowloon City District Council Working Group on the SCL raised their concerns in the meeting held in June 2016 and July 2017 regarding the vibration caused by the tunnel excavation. In this connection, the MTRCL and the HyD replied to the Working Group on the SCL that the monitoring data recorded had been at normal levels since the commencement of the tunnel excavation in April 2015 from the To Kwa Wan Station. As more time is needed to check the records, supplementary response will be given after obtaining the relevant information.

     At present, the construction of the station structure is nearing completion and the settlement of the building has been stabilised.

     On the other hand, the Buildings Department (BD) will, in response to reports concerning the safety of private buildings affected by the excavation works, deploy staff to inspect the buildings in question and make referral to the HyD and the MTRCL for follow-up in parallel. The BD will, according to the structural safety condition of the buildings, take appropriate follow-up action on building safety issues in accordance with the BO. 

     In response to media reports yesterday about the settlement of 23 adjacent buildings due to the MTRCL's excavation works for the platform of To Kwa Wan Station in 2016, BD officers were deployed to inspect the 23 buildings concerned yesterday. No obvious structural safety problem was found.

Ends/Friday, August 10, 2018