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Editorial : Steel bar inspection must stand up to scrutiny

【明報專訊】TO tackle the construction problems of the platforms at Hung Hom Station of the Shatin-Central Link, the MTR has submitted a plan to open up the concrete at not fewer than 80 locations to inspect the connections between steel bars and couplers. The hearing by an inquiry commission looking into Hung Hom Station's construction problems has gone on for nearly a month and a half and many witnesses have given contradictory statements. The only way to find out the truth is to open up the concrete to inspect the steel bars. The government must ensure that platform safety is the first priority. It must not relax the requirements concerning the inspection of the steel bars for the sake of opening the Shatin-Central Link on schedule next year. The MTR has wasted a lot of time over the last six months because it has been trying to avoid opening up the concrete to inspect the steel bars. The plan to open up concrete at random locations as proposed by a team of the Hong Kong University commissioned by the government is more reasonable. The public has no way to judge whether the number of random checks is sufficient and can only put their trust in the experts. To ease public doubts, the government's Expert Advisor Team for the Shatin-Central Link Project and the HKU experts can provide more explanations. If the initial inspections show that the problem is severe, the sample size should be expanded.

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