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Architectural features of Che Kung Temple Sports Centre

Located at Sha Tin Tau Road, easily accessible from the nearby MTR Che Kung Temple Station and Chun Shek Bus Terminus, a new sports centre, Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, has just opened for public use since 17 September 2020. A lot of thought has been put into the design of this new sports centre. In particular, architects have deliberately broken the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres. Instead, with transparent layering, the indoor and outdoor areas are connected to integrate with the surrounding landscape. Apart from offering a wide range of recreation and sports facilities, the centre also provides a comfortable place full of nature for neighbourhood residents to hang out and take a break in. Connect different facilities with a layered layoutUnlike traditional sports centres, the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre has adopted a layered layout to maximise the sense of spaciousness. Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LEUNG Kin-hong, Donald, says to us that corridors and staircases are built throughout the premises to enable visitors to easily access different floors, facilities, courtyards and terraces, and to encourage interactions among users. For example, large-size glass panels are used in the children’s playroom on the ground floor to let in the views of the forecourt; at the same time, one can see the indoor corridor and other activity rooms through the high windows on the other side, the visual connection among the three areas gives a sense of spaciousness, openness and brightness. Moreover, the architects deliberately do away with air-conditioning in all open access to promote natural ventilation and also let in sunlight, thereby protecting the environment and reducing electricity consumption. Letting in sunshine and natural sceneryThe sports centre is located in a peaceful environment with a backdrop of the mountains. Taking advantage of the natural setting, the project team has adopted floor-to-ceiling transparent glass panels to let in natural views to various indoor areas. The design focuses on brightness and transparency to give a more open view, breaking the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres in Hong Kong. Besides the trees specially planted by the project team in the atrium, the natural light coming in through the glass ceiling also creates a natural and comfortable environment. Different materials for indoor and outdoor areas to give different feelingsThe Che Kung Temple Sports Centre is the seventh public indoor sports centre in Sha Tin District, and provides facilities including a multi-purpose arena, which can serve as two basketball courts or two volleyball courts or eight badminton courts; a dance room; an activity room; a table tennis room; a fitness room; and a children's play room. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr SUEN Chun-sing, says that different finishes materials are used in indoor and outdoor areas to give people distinctly different feelings. Fair-faced concrete is mostly applied to the façades to give a natural and raw feeling. On the contrary, wooden and warm-coloured materials are used mainly on the walls and floors of the arena to create a relatively warm environment. An oasis in the citySince the commissioning of the facilities and public spaces of the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, it has become neighbourhood residents’ go-to place for exercise and rest. I believe that users will be able to feel the sense of nature and comfort offered by the premises, green landscapes and surrounding scenery while using the various facilities. As colleagues of the ArchSD say, it is hoped that the new sports centre will become not just a sports centre serving the local residents, but also an oasis in the city. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

VR technology nurtures lift technicians

Hong Kong is a built-up area that abounds with skyscrapers, in which the lifts carry people up and down every day. Proper periodic examination and maintenance are important to ensure the safe operation of lifts. The Government has earlier launched the Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme (LIMSS) to subsidise building owners in need to enhance lift safety. Meanwhile, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has also collaborated with the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and the Lift & Escalator Contractors Association (LECA) to strengthen the training of talents. Here we have invited a colleague of the EMSD and the representatives of the VTC and the industry to introduce how innovation and technology can be used to support training and attract more young people to join the industry.The LIMSSAt present, there are about 68 000 lifts in Hong Kong. With rapid technological advancement, modern lifts are equipped with more comprehensive safety devices than the aged ones. Government launched the LIMSS to offer financial incentive with appropriate professional support to building owners in need to encourage them to carry out lift modernisation works by installing specified safety devices or carrying out complete replacement of lifts which have not been equipped with these safety devices.According to Senior Engineer of the EMSD, Mr LAI Chun-fai, the first round of applications for the scheme has been closed and about 1 200 applications involving about 5 000 lifts have been received. The response is overwhelming. Lift training with VR technologyQuality maintenance is crucial to lift safety. However, the lift industry has been facing the problem of persistent manpower shortage, and so the Government has been playing the role of facilitator to co-operate with the industry and the VTC to enhance training for technical personnel. The three partners have worked together to develop a virtual reality (VR) system to train the both trainees and practicing technicians. The VR system allows users to complete tasks of different scenarios so that they can reinforce their understanding of the points to note in each procedure. The VR system can also facilitate the introduction of lift profession to young people and attract more new blood to join the industry.More realistic experience for traineesThe Principal Instructor of the Pro-Act Training and Development Centre (Electrical) of the VTC, Mr WONG Kai-hon, Charles, says that trainees in general need to learn how to install or maintain lifts in a realistic environment. However, it involves substantial fees and spaces to build a realistic environment. VTC has specifically introduced this brand new VR system to its lift courses together with practical training, allowing trainees to have a deeper understanding of different tasks as if they are working in real-world situations. Besides, if trainees do not follow instructions during training, they will be susceptible to danger. The VR system can simulate emergency or accident scenarios for them to learn how to solve problems in a physically safe environment. The lift trade’s keen demand for talentsThe Lift and Escalator programme offered by the VTC is very practical. The skills that trainees can learn are exactly what the trade requires, resulting in a significant increase in the intake of new trainees in recent years. The vice president of the LECA, Mr LAI Wah-hing, says that as the trade has a keen demand for talents, practicing technicians may enhance their skills and qualifications through continuous learning. Besides, a number of technicians will take examinations to obtain professional engineer qualifications, and develop a career in engineering management. Mr LAI Wah-hing believes that VR technology can strengthen professional training in the trade and deepen employees’ understanding of the importance of following safe work procedures. In addition, lift contractors will buy VR equipment to train their own employees.The work of repair and maintenance comes with great responsibilityThe trainees participating in the Lift and Escalator programme all said that VR technology adds to the authenticity of the training experience, making it easier for them to have a good grasp of their future job. The technology also helps to enhance their safety awareness and reduce the anxiety that might come during their internship. The trainees said that they want to equip themselves with a set of specialised skills through training. They also understand the level of responsibilities associated with the repair and maintenance of lifts, which are closely related to people’s daily lives. We use lifts every day. The Government will continue to strengthen cooperation with the industry and training institutions to improve the learning environment using innovative technology. In addition, we will promote safe practices for lift works and attract more young talents to join the lift and escalator trade. Regarding the way forward, given the overwhelming response to the LIMSS, the Government is actively looking at possible ways to inject new resources into the scheme for the benefit of more owners in need. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

[City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong] Tools and Tips 101 (for University/Tertiary Institute & Open Group)

(Image source: City I&T Grand Challenge website) Will you be Hong Kong’s next GREAT INNOVATOR? Anyone can be an innovator, whether you are a student, employee, entrepreneur or retiree. The City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong invites you to help transform the future of Hong Kong, one idea at a time. If you enjoy tackling big picture issues, discovering creative solutions and moving the city forward into the future, the Grand Challenge is the perfect place for you to put your creativity and innovative skills to the test. Winners will have the chance to receive mentorship and shadow startups and advisors. Selected projects may even be productised, featured in exhibitions and roadshows, and enter incubation programmes!Ready to bring your ideas to life and help alleviate Hong Kong’s imminent challenges? Get involved now.Tools & Tips 101 No ideas where to start yet? The training videos below and the "Tools and Tips 101" aim to equip you with the critical soft skills and knowledge to get started with your idea development for the Grand Challenge.Watch the videos to learn more about the two sub-themes – Environmental Sustainability and Social Connectivity, the principles of Design Thinking and Lean Canvas Model to develop your ideas and combine innovative technologies with design ideas to imagine and create new opportunities and embark on your innovation journey! "Tools and Tips 101" for University / Tertiary Institute & Open Group

[City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong] Tools and Tips 101 (for Secondary School Group)

(Image source: City I&T Grand Challenge website) Will you be Hong Kong’s next GREAT INNOVATOR? Anyone can be an innovator, whether you are a student, employee, entrepreneur or retiree. The City I&T Grand Challenge Hong Kong invites you to help transform the future of Hong Kong, one idea at a time. If you enjoy tackling big picture issues, discovering creative solutions and moving the city forward into the future, the Grand Challenge is the perfect place for you to put your creativity and innovative skills to the test. Winners will have the chance to receive mentorship and shadow startups and advisors. Selected projects may even be productised, featured in exhibitions and roadshows, and enter incubation programmes!Ready to bring your ideas to life and help alleviate Hong Kong’s imminent challenges? Get involved now.Tools & Tips 101 No ideas where to start yet? The training videos below and the "Tools and Tips 101" aim to equip you with the critical soft skills and knowledge to get started with your idea development for the Grand Challenge.Watch the videos to learn more about the two sub-themes – Environmental Sustainability and Social Connectivity, the principles of Design Thinking and Lean Canvas Model to develop your ideas and combine innovative technologies with design ideas to imagine and create new opportunities and embark on your innovation journey! "Tools and Tips 101" for Secondary School Group

Will you be Hong Kong’s next great innovator?

The City I&T Grand Challenge believes that anyone, regardless of age, can be an innovator to transform the future of Hong Kong! Organised by the Innovation and Technology Commission together with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the first City I&T Grand Challenge will be launched. In light of the new normal under the epidemic, the theme of the competition this year is “Innovating for Hong Kong’s New Normal”. All sectors of the community are invited to develop innovative smart solutions to tackle problems facing by the city and people in their daily lives as well as to make Hong Kong a more sustainable, connected and efficient city. Participants are invited to submit innovative solutions to tackle one of the following focused issues: “environmental sustainability” or “social connectivity”. Participants are required to address the environmental problems arise from disposable plastic tableware and household food waste, and the physical and social well-being of senior citizens and children under the new normal of social distancing and distant learning. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) The Challenge is open to various participant categories including Primary School, Secondary School, University / Tertiary Institute, and Open Group. Each proposal will be evaluated based on its originality, uniqueness and effectiveness, application of innovation and technology, as well as social benefits and impact. Winners will be awarded a cash prize and a trophy. For the winners of the University and Open categories, they will also have a chance to receive R&D resources and training for refining their I&T solutions for trying at a designated venue such as a government department or a public organisation. The Challenge is open for application from today till 30 June 2021. For further details on the Challenge and registration method, please visit the official website. A host of workshops, seminars and training activities will also be organised to introduce knowledge on technologies and entrepreneurship as well as topical daily life issues. All are welcome to join.

Smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability

Every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments will complete Tree Risk Assessments (TRAs) and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures to protect tree health and public safety. In recent years, the Government has launched several pilot schemes to explore the use of technology in tree management to enhance its quality and efficiency. Here we invited a colleague of the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) to talk about tree inspections before wet season. We also invited Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), to introduce how to apply smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability.Risk assessments before wet seasonAccording to the “Guidelines on Tree Risk Assessment and Management Arrangement”, every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments are required to complete TRAs in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow professionally and systematically and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures based on the assessment results, such as crown pruning and installation of support systems. Dangerous trees with untreatable problems need to be removed as soon as possible to safeguard public safety. Mr TSANG Kwok-on, the GLTMS’s Tree Management Officer, said that tree inspection personnel mainly perform ground inspection to examine and assess various parts of a tree, including the crown, leaves, branches, trunk, roots and the surrounding environment of the tree, etc. Inspection personnel would also employ tools to aid their work, for example, using a plastic mallet to tap the trunk to assess its structural condition and using binoculars to observe the growing conditions of the higher branches and leaves. If necessary, inspection personnel would climb up the tree to inspect the hidden parts from different angles. If decay or other structural problems are found or suspected, they would use a resistograph or sonic tomograph (pictured) to examine the internal structural condition of the tree. Applying smart sensing technology in tree managementUnder adverse weather such as rainstorm or typhoon, it is inevitable that trees would suffer different degrees of damage. A research team formed by DEVB, the PolyU and other tertiary institutions is conducting a 3-year Jockey Club Smart City Tree Management Project to monitor tree stability on a large scale through smart sensing technology and Geographic Information System. The research team will assess the risk of tree failure by monitoring trees’ swaying or tilting condition, thereby strengthening tree risk management.Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the PolyU, said that the sensors are installed at the lower trunks of the trees to assess the trees’ tilting angles and directions, and the data would then be sent to the university’s data centre via network transmission for big data analytics. If it is shown that the tilting angle of the lower trunk of the tree exceeds the threshold, the system would immediately send an alert to the designated parties to undertake timely and appropriate risk mitigation measures. Large-scale monitoring of tree stabilityDr WONG said that the Smart Sensing Technology pilot scheme started in February in 2019. An initial trial was conducted in Tai Tong, Yuen Long, to set reference for the design of sensors and monitoring system. Upon fine tuning the system, the research team has installed the second batch of sensors in Wan Chai and Kowloon East districts to test the network transmission performance in urban areas. The whole pilot scheme involves the installation of a total of 8 000 sensors on selected urban trees and all stonewall trees across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which will be completed in phases between the end of 2019 and early 2020. The trees are mainly located in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow such as pavements, slopes and parks.Trees are very much intertwined with our daily lives. In an urbanised city like Hong Kong, trees let us have a green living environment. While we make our best endeavours to manage tree risks, we also need private property owners and property management companies to conduct proper tree care within their properties. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Promoting the Development and Application of Renewable Energy (Drainage Services Department)

"As an experienced propellant of renewable energy projects in the Drainage Services Department, I constantly ponder ways to introduce breakthrough improvements in this area for the department and our community." Drainage Services Department Senior Project Manager, Li Chung-leung, Ricky said."I often encourage my colleagues to proactively voice out effective and innovative methods and ideas, enabling the department to continuously enhance the renewable energy focused quality service culture. Inculcating the mindset of “You Can Do It”, we strive to overcome the challenges encountered during the application of new technologies and the operation of renewable energy facilities."Ricky said, "I encourage them to try boldly and verify carefully, inspire and lead colleagues to pay extra effort and exert team spirit to resolve problems." Today, the harbour in Hong Kong is so beautiful that citizens can enjoy swimming and experience the excellent water quality. This is the result of Drainage Services Department’s (DSD) years of hard work.In addition to sewage treatment and flood prevention, DSD has been actively developing and promoting the application of renewable energy in recent years, contributing to the sustainable development in Hong Kong.Rapid population growth coupled with the dramatic increase in economic activities have inevitably generated a large amount of sewage. DSD collects up to 2.8 million m3 of sewage every day, enough to fill up 1,120 standard size swimming pools. The collected sewage is then conveyed to sewage treatment works for treatment. The conveyance and treatment processes consume substantial amount of energy.The four major secondary sewage treatment works in DSD have been employing the latest technology to utilise the biogas produced during the sludge treatment process to generate electricity and heat for use within the sewage treatment works. To maximise the use of renewable energy, DSD sent staff on study visits to the United States, Germany, and other regions to learn from their experience and to explore effective ways of developing renewable energy in Hong Kong.Ricky said, "Apart from getting our job done, we are constantly exploring ways to bring greater benefits to the environment. Taking the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works as an example, we need to pay over a million dollars for electricity every month. Could it be self-sustainable in energy?" Riding on the production of biogas during the sludge treatment process, DSD, in the spirit of “Daring to Try, Practising with Care”, actively explores ways to increase the production of biogas. Finally, in 2016, DSD and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) jointly developed the “Food Waste and Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-digestion” Trial Scheme. As the Scheme was new to Hong Kong, the departments encountered many challenges during implementation. Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Cheung Kin-kuen said, "Westerners’ diets are mostly meat-based, therefore, protein is the main component of their food waste, whereas in Hong Kong, the composition of food waste is mainly carbohydrates. To ensure the viability of this technology in Hong Kong, we commissioned a local university to conduct DNA test for micro-organisms to confirm that the technology is feasible to be applied in Hong Kong. It is estimated that EPD will provide the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works of DSD with a maximum of 50 tonnes food waste per day. The pre-treated food waste will undergo anaerobic co-digestion with the sewage sludge in the sewage treatment works. The Scheme utilises existing facilities of DSD, to harness the synergy effect in generating 30% more biogas and at the same time reducing the amount of digestate by 30%. The Scheme not only helps alleviate the burden on landfills, but also supplies a million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the sewage treatment works annually, which helps save around a million dollars in electricity cost annually. In addition, DSD capitalises on its own advantages by installing photovoltaic panels at different sewage treatment works and pumping stations. Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works is equipped with over 4,200 photovoltaic panels with an installed generation capacity of 1.1 megawatt. When it came into operation in late 2016, it was the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. DSD also set up a Renewable Energy Information Centre there. Guided tours are provided with the aim of enhancing public awareness of the government’s effort in the development and application of renewable energy. To promote wider use of solar energy, DSD is exploring the feasibility of installing hotovoltaic panels on the covers of the sedimentation tanks at the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works, which is the largest of its type in Hong Kong. However, the curvy surface of the sedimentation tank covers makes it difficult to install traditional photovoltaic panels.The then Senior Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Wong Ying-ying, Regina added, "There are thin film photovoltaic panels available in the market. We installed them on the sedimentation tank Number 9 as a trial. Although we encountered different technical problems in the process, we are confident that by enhancing the design, more photovoltaic panels could be installed on the covers of sedimentation tanks." The then Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Drainage Services Department, Mak Ka-wai, JP said, "The mission of DSD is to provide the public with world-class sewage treatment and drainage services. With a “Do it from the Heart” attitude, we strive to develop renewable energy. On average, we produce around 27 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which is equivalent to 9% of our overall electricity consumption. According to statistics, Hong Kong’s potential in developing renewable energy is about 3 to 4% of the total electricity consumed. Although we have already far exceeded this figure, DSD will keep the momentum going. We hope that by around 2030, we could successfully turn the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works into a “zero emission” facility, achieving the goal of “waste-to-energy”. I believe that with the concerted efforts of our staff, we will be able to achieve it." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Advanced technologies to rehabilitate pipes

There are more than 4500 kilometres of underground stormwater drains and sewers across Hong Kong. Many of those in the old districts have been in use for over 30 years. The sewers, in particular, are more prone to ageing and deterioration due to prolonged exposure to corrosive gases brought by sewage. Drainage Services Department (DSD) has gradually rehabilitated the high-risk underground pipes by adopting a pipe repair method that requires no excavation of pipe trenches or road surfaces in order to alleviate inconvenience caused to the public during the works. Gradual rehabilitation of old pipesSerious wear and tear will cause pipe collapse and road subsidence, bringing adverse impact on traffic, environment and public safety. Since 2017, the DSD has initiated comprehensive planning for the phased investigation and rehabilitation of pipes that have been assessed to be of high risk and formulated a territory-wide replacement and rehabilitation programme. However, we have to face a number of challenges in carrying out drainage improvement works in urban areas. Hong Kong is congested not only with people and vehicles, but also with various underground utilities such as gas pipes, communication facilities and water pipes. The traditional “open trench” rehabilitation technology may inevitably affect traffic and residents. The benefit of the new trenchless technology introduced by the DSD in recent years is that pipes can be replaced and rehabilitated without the need to open up an entire road section. Only a temporary shaft is neededAccording to Engineer of the Project Management Division of the DSD, Mr CHEN Ka-yin, the trenchless pipe rehabilitation works only need to excavate a temporary shaft at an individual location to facilitate the insertion of new pipe material into an old pipe to form a new pipe. Under this method, the excavation requires less open space and a shorter duration of works, allowing traffic to resume quickly after the completion of works to minimise impacts to the public. Currently, subject to the damage of the pipes and on-site situations, the DSD mainly employs three trenchless technologies, namely cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining, spirally-wound lining and slip-lining. CIPP lining technologyAccording to Mr CHEN Ka-yin, under the CIPP lining technology (that is commonly referred to as the “insertion into pig intestines” in Chinese), a soft polyester liner with a thickness of 10 to 40 millimetres is pulled into the host pipe through a “launch shaft”. The liner is then expanded and cured by steam or hot water until it hardens and forms a new pipe. This technology can be used on pipes under dry condition. In rehabilitating trunk sewers that still has water flow, we have to employ the spirally-wound lining technology instead. In this technique, a special winding machine is placed inside the pipeline to helically wind steel-reinforced polyethylene strips into circular shape to form a new pipe in the original pipe. Alternatively, the slip-lining method can also be used. As both methods are designed for the rehabilitation of running pipes, no interception is required. Slip-lining methodStanding at the construction site on Bailey Street in To Kwa Wan, Mr CHEN Ka-yin introduces the use of the slip-lining method at the site. First, a temporary shaft will be set up at an appropriate location. Part of the old pipeline will then be cut and exposed. After cleaning and inspection of the pipe, a 1.5-metre long fibreglass plastic liner will be pushed into the old or damaged pipe section by section. Then, with cement slurry filling the gap between the new and the old pipelines, a new pipe is formed. He points out that although a fibreglass plastic liner looks relatively thin, its structural strength is equal to that of a concrete pipe and its lifespan is up to 40 to 50 years. Planning for stage 2 worksAs the rehabilitation works of all stormwater drains and sewers in Hong Kong involves 18 districts, over the course of four months, colleagues of the DSD visited each of the districts to consult the relevant District Council committees and explain project details to stakeholders, so as to give an early start to the projects. Stage 1 works had begun and are scheduled for completion in 2022. Stage 2 works are scheduled to start in 2020 to conduct condition survey and rehabilitation of stormwater drains and sewers in six districts, including Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Drainage Services Department's remote-controlled desilting robot

In Hong Kong, the rainy season generally starts in April. In order to further reduce flood risks during rainstorms, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) has introduced the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement this year. It has also adopted new technologies in using a new remote-controlled desilting robot for silt clearing works at box culverts to enhance the efficiency of desilting works. Preventing silt accumulation from affecting the drainage capacityHong Kong faces an average rainfall of about 2 400 millimetres a year, one of the highest among cities in the Pacific Rim. According to Mr POON Tin-yau, an engineer of the DSD, when stormwater is discharged into the sea through box culverts, the washed-off sand, stones and dust will accumulate gradually at the drains to form silt, which will in turn affect the drainage capacity and may lead to flooding in the most serious cases. To avoid the above situation, the department inspects the box culverts on a regular basis and arranges the desilting works if necessary to ensure that the drains are functioning properly. Operating as a vacuum cleanerEarly this year, a new remote-controlled desilting robot was introduced into the DSD. The DSD conducted a pilot test on the use of the robot for desilting works at the box culverts in Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan with its functions monitored. The robot will be lifted up with a crane and sent into the box culvert concerned through its opening. With the help of closed-circuit television and sonic survey, the operator can then observe the conditions inside the box culvert and remotely operate the robot for desilting from his workstation. Mr POON Tin-yau says that the robot, measuring approximately 3 metres in length, and 1.5 metres in both width and height, works similarly to a vacuum cleaner. Once the silt is sucked by the robot, it will be pumped to a temporary silt container on the ground through a tube connected to the robot. The silt will be transported to a landfill only after dewatering. Enhancing work safetyAccording to the traditional desilting method, workers need to go into the box culverts for installation and operation of desilting devices. Given that box culverts are confined spaces, workers working inside will face certain safety risks. The traditional method also requires interception of water flow in the culverts to allow workers to work in an environment without water flowing through, which means the work is limited mostly to dry seasons. On the contrary, the remote-controlled desilting robot can take over diving tasks to spare workers from going into confined and submerged space of the box culverts. Apart from enhancing work safety, the use of the robot allows desilting works in rainy seasons, which in turn will expedite the progress of such works, lower the costs and significantly improve the desilting efficiency. Implementation of the “just-in-time clearance” arrangementFurthermore, the DSD had analysed more than 200 flooding cases between 2017 and 2019, finding that more than 60 percent of them were due to blockage of drains by litter, fallen leaves or other washouts carried by surface runoff. This year, the department will implement the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement. Before the onset of a rainstorm, staff will be deployed to inspect about 200 drain locations in the territory which are susceptible to blockage by litter, fallen leaves or the like, and will immediately arrange for clearance if necessary. The department will also send staff to inspect and clear all major drainage intakes and river channels to prevent blockage after a rainstorm or when a typhoon signal is about to be lowered so as to prepare for the challenges of further rainstorms. Constructing more underground stormwater storage tanksApart from strengthening the responsive management measures before and after rainstorms, the DSD will continue to press ahead with its flood prevention strategy, which includes constructing more underground stormwater storage tanks to collect and temporarily store excessive rainwater during rainstorms, thus reducing the loading at downstream drains and the consequential flood risks. At present, six locations are under planning, including Shek Kip Mei Park, Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground (extension), the Urban Council Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as Sau Nga Road Playground, Kwun Tong Ferry Pier Square and Hoi Bun Road Park in Kwun Tong District. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Enhancement of legal aid services through innovative use of information technology (Legal Aid Department)

The Legal Aid Department (LAD) commits to providing quality customer-oriented legal aid services. Aiming to improve service efficiency and provide prompt response to customers, LAD has developed new online services with the latest information technology to keep legal aid services abreast of the times. Service 1: EFFECTIVE USE OF QR CODES The pamphlet entitled How Your Financial Resources & Contribution are Calculated published by LAD contains calculation examples of different scenarios. However, as the rates of personal allowances and financial eligibility limits for legal aid are adjusted oftentimes, the calculation examples in the pamphlet require frequent updates, which are effort and time demanding but ephemeral. Resources were squandered consequently. To resolve the difficulty, LAD has added in the pamphlet relevant QR codes, through which members of the public can access the latest calculation examples on LAD’s website. When there is any adjustment to the calculation examples, it is necessary to update only the information on the website but not the pamphlet. Not only does this help protect the environment, but printing costs and staff resources could also be saved. Service 2:  MOBILE VERSION OF MEANS TEST CALCULATOR Since means assessment involves many factors concerning a legal aid applicant, LAD introduced in December 2008 an online Means Test Calculator, which provides a convenient way for members of the public to find out whether they are likely to be eligible for legal aid on means. The mobile version of the Means Test Calculator was subsequently introduced for easy access by mobile devices anytime anywhere. Service 3: ENHANCING SERVICES BY INSTANT TRANSLATION SYSTEM To overcome the language barrier faced by people of diverse race in making legal aid applications and the shortage of interpreters, LAD has developed an instant translation system, which can display and read out questions in languages commonly used by people of diverse race. The system also connects to an online translation programme which can translate the answers provided by legal aid applicants of diverse race in their own languages into English. LAD staff may then identify and provide suitable information to them to facilitate their legal aid applications. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Training beyond innovation (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department)

To support the implementation of this policy by various divisions, the Training Unit of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has taken the lead to apply I&T in its core training and enhanced the Technician Training Scheme to cultivate young professional teams with international vision, thereby injecting new blood into the E&M trade so as to tie in with the Government’s policy objective of building a smart city and developing I&T. IMPROVING TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS WITH I&T EMSD has converted a workshop in its headquarters building into a new digitalised Interactive Learning Centre in four months. Holographic images and three-dimensional projection technology are used to present to trainees the E&M equipment in buildings in great detail, which facilitates their clear understanding of the equipment’s structure and improves training efficiency. Moreover, the Department has tailor-designed various virtual reality training facilities, which not only enhance the flexibility, safety and coverage of training activities, but also significantly reduce the consumption of physical materials to achieve environmental benefits. JOINT TALENT TRAINING WITH THE TRADE To address the problem of an ageing workforce and manpower shortage in the E&M trade, EMSD enhanced its Technician Training Scheme, under which 100 places are added every year to nurture more young trainees so as to meet the needs arising from the digitalisation development. The Department has also collaborated with the trade and arranged for trainees to undergo internship in private organisations. Their performance has won recognition from the trade. Not only does this arrangement enrich the work experience of trainees, but it also helps solve the problem of manpower shortage in those organisations, a win-win for all. BROADENING INTERNATIONAL HORIZONS THROUGH TRAINING In order to enhance the skills of trainees and promote learning and exchange between young people in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, EMSD has signed the Memorandum of Co-operation on E&M Talent Development with the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau to train E&M talents for both cities and upgrade their skills as a whole. To broaden the international horizons of trainees, the Department encouraged them to participate in the biennial WorldSkills Competition. Two EMSD trainees who took part in the “Electrical Installations” and “Refrigeration and Air-conditioning” trades won in the WorldSkills Hong Kong and went on to represent Hong Kong in the WorldSkills Competition held in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. Coached by expert trainers, both trainees won Medallions for Excellence in the Competition, bringing glory to Hong Kong while proving that the technical skills of Hong Kong’s E&M personnel have attained international standards. (The video is conducted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)