The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:
Fourteen Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), who are now visiting Sichuan to obtain first hand information about the progress of the post-quake restoration and reconstruction work in the province, visited three major projects yesterday (September 25) involving a total of over $1 billion supported by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
On the second day of the visit to Sichuan, members of the LegCo Panel on Development, together with the Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of relevant committees of LegCo started the day with a two-hour drive to Yingxiu, one of the most hard-hit areas, and paid tribute to the victims of last year's earthquake in the front yard of the Xuankou Middle School, which was completely destroyed during the earthquake and was visited by the LegCo Members in July last year. The debris of the school site had now been preserved for educational and research purposes.
The President of LegCo, Hon Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, who led the visit, said Members, in particular those came for the first time, were all shocked by what they saw on their way to Yingxiu but were deeply touched by the great enthusiasm and total commitment of the people of Sichuan in restoring their homeland.
Upon leaving Yingxiu, Members proceeded to observe the construction work of the Provincial Road 303 and were briefed on the planning and building of the road. The Provincial Road 303 runs from Yingxiu to Wolong with a total length of 45 kilometers. This road project, which costs over $800 million, is one of the major projects in the post-quake restoration and reconstruction works in Sichuan. HKSAR's contribution was about $760 million. The construction work started in April this year and is expected to complete by April in 2011. Members were briefed by the Project Engineer as well as Mr Mak Chai-kwong, Permanent Secretary of the Development Bureau who accompanied LegCo Members on this visit, on HKSAR's financial and technical involvement in this project.
The second major project visited by LegCo Members was Shuimo Middle School, which was one of the 56 schools in the three stages of the restoration and reconstruction programme supported by HKSAR. This school is jointly supported by HKSAR and Foshan, of which Hong Kong provided $55.6 million to build one of the teaching towers and a sport ground.
Mr Dong Yi Qiang, the principal of the school, gave a briefing to the Members on the reconstruction work and said that the building standard of the school was even higher than similar projects in other big cities. Not only were the students proud of being in the school, more than 200 students of Sichuan who had gone to other places for their studies had returned in order to study in this school.
In the afternoon, Members paid a visit to a residential buildings project in Dujiangyan's Xiang'e Xiang and the Sichuan-Hong Kong Rehabilitation Centre. In the Rehabilitation Centre, Members were received by some 50 children who became disabled after being hurt by the earthquake. Members also exchanged views with medical professionals of "Stand Tall", a charity group from Hong Kong, and sang the song "Descendants of the Dragon" with the disabled children.
In concluding the visit, Mr Tsang said Members had gained a better understanding of the post-quake restoration and reconstruction work in Sichuan and considered the funding put into the relevant projects was most worthwhile and value for money.
Members will visit the Jinsha Site Museum today (September 26) in the morning and meet with officials of the Sichuan Province to receive a briefing on the latest development of the post-quake restoration and reconstruction work. They will then attend a lunch hosted by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Sichuan Provincial Government and return to Hong Kong after the lunch.
Ends/Saturday, September 26, 2009
Issued at HKT 01:16