Subject: Vehemently Oppose the Construction of Railings Along the Hiking Trail at Lung Fu Shan By Lung Fu Shan Environment Concern Group
Three years ago, a couple of like-minded hikers set up Lung Fu Shan Environment Concern Group as they could not bear to see the picturesque and serene mountain trail being destroyed by the steel railings suggested to be built by the government. They thus launched a series of signature campaigns and protests. With comprehensive information and evidence, they wrestled hard with the government officials to fight for a reasonable outcome, vehemently refuting the numerous proposals such as building fences, steel railings and concrete walls around there. In September 2011, the issue ultimately ended up with the bill shelved — no more construction of railings, thus restoring the more- than-a-century-old mountain trail to its primitive natural beauty.
In the early morning, we followed Mrs. Vivian Leung, Chairman of the Concern Group along from the Peak to Old Peak Road, Lugard Road and Hatton Road. Along the way, Vivian could recall the location and number of every single lamppost, slope and well in an accurate and familiar manner, not to mention all the proposed railing designs once attached to each of them. ‘Railing is a kind of visual pollution, it’s grotesque and a waste of resources. The 300-metre railing constructed by the Transport Department cost $60,000, and was later raised to $700,000 by the District Council. On reviewing the records, we found that the cause for all this construction was a solitary complaint by a citizen who thought there might be some potential danger along this route, and this solitary complaint is what spurred the authorities to act in the name of safety. However, many citizens have indicated their opposition in the signature campaigns organized by Vivian and her group, demonstrating their unwillingness to live in a cage-like environment.
Vivian has been overseeing Lung Fu Shan almost full-time for the past three years. In the process, she has familiarized herself with the governing regulations and come to understand that the rationale for constructing railings only applies in situations where the slope exceeds a stipulated gradient. On this basis, many of the once-proposed railings are without formal justification and have been subjectively proposed by the authorities without proper grounds. “This century-old trail has always been in good condition. Dangerous turns are mostly fenced by small rocks. Neither the government nor the district councilors are the users or frequent hikers. But they are the one to take the reins to construct railings and destroy the natural environment. Hence we always insist on zero railings. Everybody should have a say in this issue.”
If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and the Chinese version, the Chinese version shall prevail.
Reproduce from 《明報周刊MPW 》No. 2251 (page 56)