Hong Kong – One more trial project on hydrogen fuel cell bus given agreement-in-principle by Inter-departmental Working Group

One more trial project on hydrogen fuel cell bus given agreement-in-principle by Inter-departmental Working Group


     A spokesman for the Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) today (August 23) said that the Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel (Working Group) led by the EEB has given agreement-in-principle to another application of a trial project on hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) double-deck buses on August 20. To date, the Working Group has examined in stages a total of seven applications that have been determined to be valid, and has given agreement-in-principle to all of them.
     The said project concerns an application submitted by Citybus Limited (Citybus). The trial project includes the setting up of a hydrogen refuelling facility at its bus depot in Chai Wan and the operation of five HFC double-decker buses. Citybus plans to arrange the operation of battery electric and conventional double-deck buses on the same route as the HFC double-deck buses, with a view to comparing their operational performances.
     The spokesperson of the EEB stated, “Upon receipt of the application for the trial project in January 2023, the Working Group promptly initiated the examination process. Following the applicant’s enhancement of the designs and technical details of its proposal to ensure that the trial project can be carried out smoothly and safely, the Working Group gave agreement-in-principle to the application on August 20. According to the plan of the applicant, the trial project is expected to commence in the second half of 2024.”
     Since March 24 this year, the Working Group has given agreement-in-principle to a total of seven valid applications of hydrogen energy trial projects. Thus far, all applications that have provided sufficient information to make such applications valid have been examined and processed by the Working Group. The Working Group will closely monitor the progress of the projects and maintain communication with the applicants so that they could optimise the trial projects based on the Working Group’s comments. The Working Group will also examine any new applications received in future, with a view to collecting more data and local operational experience from the hydrogen fuel trial projects as soon as possible, for the purpose of facilitating the formulation of relevant regulations, codes, standards, and technical guidelines for the local application of hydrogen fuel, as well as the planning for the necessary supporting facilities. 
     The Working Group is formed by the EEB, the Transport and Logistics Bureau, the Development Bureau, the Security Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Fire Services Department, the Transport Department, the Marine Department, the Planning Department, the Lands Department, the Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department.

Hong Kong – LCQ19: Cash Allowance Trial Scheme

LCQ19: Cash Allowance Trial Scheme


     Following is a question by the Hon Luk Chung-hung and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Housing, Mr Victor Tai, in the Legislative Council today (June 21):
     The Government launched a three-year Cash Allowance Trial Scheme (CATS) in late June 2021 to provide cash allowance (allowance) to eligible persons, so as to alleviate the difficulties in livelihood faced by grass-roots families who have been waiting for public rental housing (PRH) for a long period of time. On the other hand, a survey has found that it is estimated that nearly 75 percent of CATS applicants may still not be able to move into PRH after two years, and that about 100 000 non-elderly single persons who have waited for PRH for less than three years currently cannot benefit from CATS. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
 (1) of the number of beneficiaries in each year since the launch of CATS, and the PRH waiting time of CATS applicants; among the beneficiaries, the number of those whose allowance has been terminated but still have not yet been allocated PRH flats;
(2) whether it will consider increasing the amount of allowance in line with inflation, and extending the period of time for which the allowance is provided under CATS (e.g. granting the allowance to the applicants until they move into PRH); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) whether it will consider expanding the target beneficiaries of CATS to cover non-elderly single persons who are currently waiting for PRH; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) as there are views pointing out that CATS is the only financial assistance measure aimed at relieving the housing pressure of tenants of subdivided units, but some tenants are excluded from the scheme due to their not meeting the eligibility criteria and thus become low-‍income households not living in public housing and not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (commonly known as “N have-nots households”), whether the Government will, without affecting the implementation of CATS, reintroduce the one-‍off living subsidy provided to N have-nots households; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     The Government launched the three-year Cash Allowance Trial Scheme (the Scheme) in late June 2021 to provide cash allowance to eligible public rental housing (PRH) General Applicant (GA) households (i.e. applicant households with two or more persons, and applicants under the Single Elderly Priority Scheme) who are not living in PRH, not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), and have waited for PRH for more than three years but have not been offered the first PRH allocation, with a view to relieving the pressure on livelihood of grassroots families who are waiting for PRH allocation. In consultation with the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau (HYAB) and the Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB), our consolidated reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Luk Chung-hung is as follows:
(1) As at end April 2023, the Housing Department (HD) had disbursed a total of around $3.04 billion in cash allowance to about 87 700 eligible PRH GA households. The breakdown of the number of beneficiary households by financial year and by PRH waiting time is at Annex. Meanwhile, around 36 100 PRH GA households have ceased to receive cash allowance because they are no longer eligible (e.g. having received the first PRH flat offer, beginning to receive CSSA). Among these households, about 70 percent have been housed in PRH, about 20 percent have had their PRH applications cancelled or are no longer eligible for PRH allocation (e.g. having purchased a subsidised sale flat), and the remaining households are waiting for the second or third PRH flat offer.
(2) and (3) The cash allowance provided under the Scheme is not a “rental subsidy”. However, given rent is a substantial part of the household expenditure of grassroots families, we have drawn reference from the Maximum Rent Allowance (MRA) under CSSA in determining the levels of cash allowance under the Scheme. The Government will also take into account the private housing rent index under the Consumer Price Index (A) when considering the adjustment of MRA. Following the review by the Social Welfare Department, the MRA which took effect from 1 February 2023 was kept at the same level as that in 2021. 
     Taking into account the Hong Kong Housing Authority’s target to provide the first PRH flat offer to GA households at around three years on average, the Scheme is applicable to eligible PRH GA households who have been waiting for PRH for more than three years. Since non-elderly one-person applicants are subject to the Quota and Points System, the average waiting time target of around three years for the first PRH flat offer is not applicable to them. Hence, non-elderly one person applicants are not eligible for the cash allowance.
     The Scheme runs on a trial basis for three years until mid-2024 and the Government will conduct a review at an appropriate time.
(4) According to the HYAB and the LWB, the Community Care Fund (CCF) launched a “One-off Living Subsidy for Low-income Households Not Living in Public Housing and Not Receiving CSSA” (hereunder referred to as “one-off living subsidy”) Programme in 2020 to support low-income households who were not living in public rental housing and receiving CSSA and had not benefitted from the relief measures announced by the Government in August 2019. The then Chief Executive in 2019 Policy Address invited the CCF to disburse an extra round of “one-off living subsidy” so as to allow time for the Government to complete the study on devising a scheme to provide a cash allowance on a regular basis by end-2020. In view that the two rounds of “one-off living subsidy” has achieved the target, i.e., to provide assistance to eligible low income households, the CCF will not launch the relevant programme again.

Hong Kong – FEHD launches trial scheme to regulate placement of waste generated by food premises (with photos)

FEHD launches trial scheme to regulate placement of waste generated by food premises (with photos)


     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 7) begins a trial scheme in various districts to allow licensed food premises to place large-size waste containers in their connected rear lanes under specific conditions for temporary storage of waste until collection by the cleaning workers hired by the food premises.


     A spokesman for the FEHD pointed out that trade waste generated by food premises, especially restaurants, generally includes a large amount of food remnants. If not handled properly, it will lead to bad smells and provide a food source and hiding place for rodents. Apart from affecting public health, it is also a nuisance to nearby residents and the public, and may cause food safety and environmental hygiene problems. Therefore, the food business has the responsibility to properly dispose of trade waste it generates. The FEHD will take enforcement action against those who fail to observe the relevant regulations.


     Nonetheless, in their actual operation, many food premises need to place their waste outdoors briefly for collection by cleaning workers, especially after business hours. The FEHD wishes to assist, in a pragmatic way, the food business in fulfilling its responsibilities, and has therefore launched a trial scheme today to provide 240-litre waste containers labelled with shop signs in nine rear lanes connected to food premises. By standardising the way food premises handle and store their waste, the FEHD seeks to improve the environmental hygiene of the rear lanes concerned and thereby effectively prevent rodent infestation.

     The locations of the selected rear lanes in the trial scheme are listed below:


  District Target lane
1. Wan Chai District Rear lane of 130-168 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai
2. Central and Western District Rear lane of 2-18 Kau U Fong, Central
3. Yau Tsim Mong District Rear lane of 9-13 Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui
4. Yau Tsim Mong District Rear lane of Hung Wai Building, 3-5 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok
5. Kwun Tong District Rear lane around 2-24 Ting Fu Street, Kwun Tong
6. Kowloon City District Rear lane of 28-50 Tam Kung Road, To Kwa Wan
7. Sha Tin District Rear lane of Chik Fuk Street, between Chik Sau Lane and Tai Wai Road, Tai Wai
8. Tsuen Wan District Rear lane of Shiu Wo Street, between Chuen Lung Street and Chung On Street, Tsuen Wan
9. Yuen Long District Rear lane of Tai Pei Tau Path (from Fu Hing Building to Wah Cheung Mansion), Yuen Long


     The spokesman said that the trial scheme is aimed at improving environmental hygiene and addressing rodent infestation problems in rear lanes. The scheme may be extended to cover rear lanes in other districts after reviewing its effectiveness, he added.

San Jose, CA Trial Attorney Publishes First Book

The Final Keystone, a new book by John Kevin Crowley, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

Every case in the history of Jurisprudence involves three things: Trust, Betrayal, and Accountability. Through his education, studies, and observations and experiences, author John Kevin Crowley has learned the interconnection of history, law, philosophy, and religion with the human condition. How that relationship has played out in human history leading to present day is a focus of The Final Keystone. This treatise is the story of us and the source of the lessons left unlearned. It is a reminder of what does not work and how what does work must be ever vigilantly guarded.

About the Author
John Kevin Crowley has been a trial attorney in California for the past forty-one years.

The Final Keystone is an 140-page paperback and eBook with a retail price of $14.00. The ISBN is 978-1-6491-3480-6. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at http://dorrancepressroom.com/the-final-keystone/ or to buy the book visit our online bookstore at http://bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com/the-final-keystone/.

Selection Trial for Direct Enrolment of Meritorious Sportsmen in the Rank of Havildar in the Army into ASC Centre (South) – 2 ATC, Bangalore-07

Selection trials for Direct Enrolment of Meritorious sportsmen (Male) with age 171/2 to 22 years of age as on 31 Dec 2021 with education qualification matriculation or equivalent examination who have represented State/ Country in National/ International completions either at Senior or at Junior level University Sports Board or represented the State School teams in the National Sports or Games for School conducted by the All India School teams in the rank of Havildar in the Army into ASC Sports Teams of (Body Building, Volleyball, Swimming, Basketball, Cricket & Football) at ASC Centre (South) – 2 ATC, Bangalore wef04 Mar 2021.