Hong Kong plans to build among the world’s largest artificial islands with an eye watering $79 billion price tag, city officials announced Tuesday. The government’s HK$624 billion proposal to recover 1, 000 hectares Of land around the territory’s biggest island, Lantau, has been touted as a solution to the pressing housing deficit within the city, which is notorious as one of the least affordable markets on the planet. Authorities said they expect start working on land reclamation in 2025, with a watch on allowing visitors to move to the island at 2032.
The artificial island, the town’s most expensive infrastructure project at date, will be 4 times the price of constructing Hong Kong International Airport, which opened on Lantau at 1998, and far outstrip Dubai’s famous palm tree shaped Palm Jumeirah, which reportedly cost $12 billion to build. The man made island will be almost 3 times the size of New York’s Central Park and provide up to 260, 000 apartments, more than 70 percent of that will be used for public housing, the government has said. But critics say the vast reclamation project is also pricey and may harm the environment, especially marine life, with lots of too expressing frustration over the absence of a public say from the plans.
When every aspect Of Hong Kong’s public services and facilities are on the verge of collapse, will the, as the government’s panacea, solve problems or make a bigger catastrophe? . , pro democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu said on his Facebook page. He estimated the cost of the project could balloon to over $112 billion by 2025, when reclamation work is likely to start. Authorities are also planning to construct another artificial island of 700 hectares around Lantau, but haven’t released any further details about that project or its price. Lantau island is also home to a brand new mega bridge released last year, billed as the world’s longest sea bridge, connecting Hong Kong to neighbouring Macau and mainland China at a time when Beijing is seeking to tighten its grip on its semi autonomous territories. Thousands of individuals have taken to the streets to protest the plans for the island. Campaigners also have warned that the dwindling number of much loved pink dolphins in waters surrounding Lantau might disappear completely due to large scale infrastructure projects.