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Chief Secretary visits Sichuan (with photos/video)  

An HKSARG delegation, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, today (July 5) visited a number of sites in Wenchuan and Deyang, Sichuan to inspect the latest progress of reconstruction projects funded by the HKSAR Government.

The delegation visited the site of the Shuimo Middle School in Shuimo Town of Wenchuan in the morning. The school is a reconstruction project jointly funded by the HKSAR and Foshan Municipality of Guangdong. The Foshan Municipality is responsible for the design and construction works, whereas the HKSAR funds part of the school premises such as the teaching complex and dormitory. The project is expected to be completed in August this year, so that students now studying in different provinces can return home and continue their studies in the newly reconstructed school premises. The official in charge of the construction reassured Mr Tang that they would strictly adhere to the requirements governing works quality and take every measure to ensure compliance with technical standards.

In the afternoon, the delegation visited the old town of Hanwang in Mianzhu, which had been completely devastated by the earthquake. Mr Tang visited the site of the Hanwang Town Government building, where the Hong Kong Fire Service Department rescue team had conducted rescue operations in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Local officials briefed Mr Tang on the rescue operations and the restoration and reconstruction plan. The HKSAR will assist in the reconstruction of the Dongqi Primary School and the Dongqi Hospital relocated from Hanwang to Deyang.

The delegation then visited the entry point of the Mianmao Highway, a major HKSAR-funded, third-stage project. Members were briefed on the project, in particular how the earthquake had caused severe damage to the existing passageway including mountain body collapse, landslide and river blockage. The project will reconstruct the seriously devastated existing passage, and connect the two severely damaged areas of Deyang Municipaltiy and Aba Prefecture, thus helping to link up these two closely proximate, but poorly accessible areas and obviating the need for a long detour through the mountainous areas.

The delegation proceeded to visit the No. 1 Primary School in Deyang, and the Yuanjia Primary School in the Jingyang District of Deyang. Structural reinforcement works for part of the school premises of No.1 Primary School in Deyang are being conducted, and construction works for the main school structures will soon commence. The Yuanjia Primary School is a project undertaken jointly by the Rotary Club of Kowloon West and the Association of Engineering Professionals in Society Ltd, with funding support from public donation and the "Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas". Construction works for the main structures of the school are in progress. Throughout the different stages of project implementation from design, construction, to project management and monitoring, professional members of the Association have spared no efforts in providing their valuable advice.

Other members of the delegation joining the visit include the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law, the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Mak Chai-kwong, and the Under Secretary for Education, Mr Kenneth Chen.

Mr Tang will hold a working meeting with representatives of the Sichuan Provincial Government tomorrow (July 6) and attend the signing ceremony for the Letter of Intent on HKSAR’s third stage reconstruction support work. The delegation will return to Hong Kong tomorrow.

Ends/Sunday, July 5, 2009
Issued at HKT 20:12