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2010年4月19日 星期一

亂棄石棉乃恐嚇手段

South China Morning Post
CITY2 | CITY | By Joyce Ng 2010-04-19

南華早報:亂棄石棉乃恐嚇手段

憤怒的粉嶺村民投訴地產商「恒基」委託的承辦商,亂拆村內舊屋,並沒有妥善處理 屋頂的有毒石棉,用這種伎倆趕走村民,以便收回土地重新發展。

昨日,十多名村民在馬屎埔村外舉辦記者招待會,反駁恆基於上週五聲稱「過去兩年 在拆屋過程中未有發現石棉」。日前恆基回應一個工會的化驗結果,恆基不承認該報告所指「在村內收集的五個樣本中均發現石棉」。

村民關漢貴表示,他與其他村民曾目擊恒基委託的承辦商用鐵枝拆毀大約一百間已收 購的村屋。

關先生說:「他們擊碎石棉瓦屋頂,並把碎片棄於村中井內。部份石棉碎片仍遺留在 拆卸現場。」

法例規定石棉建築必須由註冊承辦商拆卸,拆卸前要把建築物密封,提供全副裝備保 護工人及妥善棄置拆卸物料。

關先生稱:「恆基作為數一數二的地產商,怎能相信恆基拆卸舊村屋時竟沒察覺石棉 的存在?尤其那些村屋是在六、七十年代建成的,當時石棉是廣泛使用的建築物料。」

1996 年政府禁止使用石棉作建築物料,因擊碎石棉時會釋出有毒物質,經空氣吸 入會在肺部積聚、引致肺癌。

一生住在馬屎埔村的54歲村民區流根表示,地產商處置石棉的方法,是一種逼使想 留低的村民搬走的伎倆。

區先生說:「地產商企圖破壞整條村,使村民感到活在爛村中,早日向地產商投降。我感到很痛心、很恐懼,不知如何面對。」

區先生與太太在馬屎埔村租下五萬呎的農地種菜維生,他之前收到恆基發出的通知書,要求區先生一家搬走。

馬屎埔村被納入粉嶺北新市鎮發展規劃,與過往做法不同,政府今次發展計劃,刻意 避開原居民村,選擇非原居民村以節省大筆賠償支出。

恆基與其他發展商已在粉嶺北收購了大量土地。

恆基發言人昨日表示短期內會派遣員工到現場視察。她強調拆卸工程由公司的合約承辦商負責,該承辦商已書面確認未有發現石棉存在。

環境保護署指出其職員上週五於村內收集的碎石中發現石棉,將會聯絡地權持有人。--

Enraged villagers in Fanling claim agents from Henderson Land wrecked old houses and failed to properly handle toxic asbestos in the roofs as a tactic to drive them off the land so it can be redeveloped.

A dozen of them attended a press conference outside Ma Shi Po village yesterday to counter the developer's claim on Friday that no asbestos had been found in the houses it demolished in the past two years. The developer was responding after a union said a laboratory test found asbestos in five samples from the debris.

Kwan Hon-kwai said he and his neighbours witnessed agents acting for Henderson using metal bars to knock down about 100 houses it bought.

"They knocked off the asbestos roofs and threw the pieces down to the wells. Some just remained on the sites," Kwan said.

The law requires the demolition of asbestos buildings to be carried out by registered contractors, who have to cover the buildings before the work, protect workers with outfits and properly dispose of the material.

"Henderson is such an established developer that I can't believe it was not aware of the existence of asbestos in these old huts, which were built in the 1960s and 1970s, when asbestos was a very common construction material," Kwan said.

Asbestos, banned in 1996 in construction, poses no health risk until it is broken down, when it releases fibres into the air that can settle in the lungs and cause cancer.

Au Lau-kun, a 54-year-old who has lived in the village all his life, said the way the developer handled asbestos was a tactic to drive out those who wanted to stay.

"It wants to makes us feel we're living in a mess so when it comes we will surrender. I feel so melancholy, so scared. I don't know how to cope."

Au rents a 50,000 sq ft farm where he and his wife grow vegetables to make a living. He has received a letter from Henderson demanding that he move out.

Ma Shi Po village is within Fanling North new town, which is under planning. Unlike past practice, the government has, in drawing up the town boundaries, chosen areas inhabited by non-indigenous rather than indigenous villagers, saving itself large amounts of compensation.

Henderson and other developers have been buying up lots of land in Fanling North.

A spokeswoman for Henderson said yesterday the company would shortly send staff to check the site. She reiterated the demolition was done by its contractors, who had confirmed in writing that no asbestos was found.

The Environmental Protection Department said its staff found asbestos in the village debris last Friday and it would contact the landlord.