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Appalling Pollution A Nightmare For Elderly

Appalling pollution a nightmare for elderly Yau Ma Tei residents

Updated on Feb 22, 2009 – SCMP

It is a sad fact that people living in Hong Kong suffer from noise and air pollution particularly in Yau Ma Tei district. Residents are unable to enjoy peace and quiet and breathe fresh air.

The Highways Department has built more than 10 roads and flyovers close to Prosperous Garden without any mitigation measures. In fact, instead of alleviating the serious traffic nuisance, the department is planning to construct another Central Kowloon Tunnel portal and more skyscrapers close to Prosperous Garden, which will make traffic congestion worse.

Most Yau Ma Tei residents are elderly and they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution caused by traffic.

I have met Yau Tsim Mong district councillors but they say they do not have the power to handle the case.

I wrote to these columns (“Department must not build tunnel portal close to Yau Ma Tei estate”, December 14) and I and other residents also met legislative councillors in December and I hope they will now do something about this problem.

Noise insulation covers are needed at Ferry Street, which is adjacent to Prosperous Garden, and the proposed tunnel portal should not be built next to housing estates. To counter traffic pollution, there should be landscaped areas and barriers to mitigate the effects of the pollution.

Poor environmental planning and traffic pollution are the main contributors to the poor air quality in Hong Kong. A Legco committee should look at this important issue.

We need stronger laws to counter these serious pollution levels that are affecting the whole population of Hong Kong.

A great deal of work still needs to be done to improve the quality of our urban environment. We must improve our environment for the sake of public health and protect our basic human right to enjoy clean air.

Edward Lee, representative, Environmental Group on Central Kowloon Route

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