Wednesday, 10 January 2018

gone fishing

When we moved to our present house, on the eastern outskirts of Fanling, in 2008, it didn’t take us long to discover the Drainage Services Department (DSD) maintenance access road running alongside the Ng Tung River—and the notices forbidding access to members of the public However, we soon noticed that nobody paid any attention to these signs! Although access to this road is restricted by a locked gate at each end, there is a gap wide enough for pedestrians and cyclists to pass through:

…and they do, despite the sign:
Drainage Maintenance Access
No Entry
This photo was taken in 2011, and the sign is now illegible!

You will also notice the solar-powered streetlights, which appeared during the summer of 2011. They were funded by the North District Board, which must have had some cash to spare, which, if it didn’t use, would lead to its budget for the following year being cut. That’s how bureaucratic organizations work, but I wonder whether the board bothered to consult the DSD.

A year earlier, there was a classic example of how government departments fail to talk to one another. The DSD may prefer it if members of the public keep off its maintenance access roads, but the Home Affairs Department had other ideas. It had several covered seating areas built, presumably because it recognized the amenity value of the DSD’s access road to joggers, cyclists and casual strollers. Here are two:

There are also three footbridges that cross the river, presumably to provide access via well-marked footpaths from Fanling to houses on the north side of the river. This is the one visible in the first photo above:

Notice the signs on each side of the exit from the bridge. They read the same as the one in the first photo. In other words, you can cross the access road but not turn left or right:

I don’t think anyone even notices these signs nowadays, but there is an activity that has increased in popularity in the last few years that does involve active trespassing: fishing. I took the following two photos in the same place on the last two Sundays of 2017 as I returned from my usual Sunday bike ride. There are three or four of these platforms along the north bank of the river, and I’ve no idea of their intended purpose, but this one is clearly popular with anglers, while one further downstream is often used by operators of radio-controlled model boats.

That this activity involves active trespassing can be seen from the next photo. All these people must have climbed over the locked gate to reach the platform off which they are fishing, and there is a sign like the ones described above with the same exhortation.

There is also a sign that reads
Given that all the anglers I see are local Chinese, I assume that everything they catch is destined for the kitchen. There are certainly a lot of fish in the river, although I believe that most are carp and other species that I would deem inedible. However, this is not a dig at local eating habits. The upper part of the river flows through Fanling’s industrial district, and I took the following photo last weekend during a period of heavy (for the time of year) rain from a footbridge across a section of the river where the flow at this time of year is confined to a winter channel. Although the amount of oil coming down the river is obvious, it is the invisible pollutants—lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals—that are the real worry. Fish if you enjoy the activity—I can think of few activities that are more boring—but you are dicing with death if you eat what you catch.

1 comment:

  1. At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming again to
    read further news.


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