The government has spent about HK$13 million over the past three years on applying glue to the gaps in between bricks on footpaths, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said on Wednesday.

In a question submitted to Cheung in the Legislative Council, People Power lawmaker Chan Chi-chuen said that prior to the visit of China’s no. 3 official Zhang Dejiang to Hong Kong last month, joints of the slabs on pavements in Admiralty and Wan Chai were sealed with glue, causing puddles of water to appear during heavy rain. He claimed the government’s “joint sealing works” could increase the chances of pedestrians slipping and falling.

Photo: Fernando Cheung.

In a written reply, Cheung said that The Highways Department is responsible for maintaining footpaths and will strength paving blocks by using a glue-like stabilising sealant to reduce the loss of sand in between the gaps. It does not affect the drainage function of footpaths, he added.

He said that, over the past three years, the department has conducted such works on a total of 167 sections of pavements in 16 districts and has spent around HK$13 million. However, no information regarding the cost of individual works was available.

Secretary for Housing and Transport Anthony Cheung. File photo: Apple Daily.

Cheung added that the works in Admiralty and Wan Chai were conducted to meet police security requirements, and that the project covered 12,000 sq metres and involved 40 workers. The costs, however, were still being finalised.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.