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In its progress report submitted to the Government on the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Shenzhen Express Rail Link project, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) has forecasted a further delay to the commissioning of the Express Rail until the third quarter of 2018 and that construction costs would raise to $85.3 billion. The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) expresses regret and disappointment with the latest announcement, which will undermine public confidence in the project.
Notwithstanding the MTRC’s report, the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Shenzhen Express Rail Link represents an important link to facilitate cross-border exchanges between China and Hong Kong and is critical to promoting Hong Kong’s economic and transport ties throughout the region. Dr Lo Wai-kwok, BPA Vice Chairman and Legislative Representative for the Engineering sector, believes that the Government and the MTRC should work closely together to ensure that the Express Rail would not fall into limbo and be completed as soon as practicable.
Dr Lo pointed out that although the Government had expressed reservations with the MTRC’s report, both are nevertheless accountable to the public in providing a concrete and viable timetable, which should include a specific date for works completion and project commissioning, as well as the final construction cost. No effort should be spared to realize the commissioning of the Express Rail as soon as possible so as to restore the public’s trust in the project, the Government and the MTRC.
He also urged the Government and the MTRC to set up an effective system to monitor progress and to strive to control costs so that the project could be completed according to the new timetable.