I refer to CNA article, “1 dead, 4 injured after Tembusu tree falls at Singapore Botanic Gardens”. link
Living in Singapore has certainly become more dangerous as one could be killed while exiting a HDB lift, driving ** or in a park. Accidents are bound to happen but when they are preventable, it amounts to negligence.
NParks seems ignorant of the fact that trees DO grow old. Does anyone need to tell NParks what happens then?
A life has been needlessly lost and NParks is only rubbing salt into the wound by informing the public that the killer tree was inspected twice yearly. Still thinking of damage control?
NParks should be aware that we had fewer accidents in the past due to better drainage. But during the past 3 decades, the PAP government had expanded the population as if there’s no tomorrow. In the process, billions of tons of concrete have been poured into the ground or covered the surface to construct housing, offices, hospitals, roads and other infrastructures.
According to Tan Huan Arboriculture Services managing director Andy Tan, the most likely cause of the tree toppling was “water-logging due to recent heavy rains” and “strong winds during storms could have further exacerbated the problem”. The tree expert also opined that he expected a 270-year old tree to be inspected every month instead of semi-annually.
Including more than 1 million instant trees planted by the government, NParks clearly does not have sufficient resources to see to proper inspection and maintenance. Even if the government spends additional hundreds of millions in tax dollars to beef up resources, it cannot expect to impose LKY’s ‘garden city’ on mother nature without consequences.
NParks is merely playing with words by renaming LKY’s ‘garden city’ to ‘city in a garden’. Will this prevent trees from falling?
In view of climate change, NParks has to do the ‘right’ thing by adapting to nature.
Tree pruning does help but it only delays the inevitable, eg old instant trees along ECP towards Changi Airport may ‘unexpectedly’ drop dead, resulting in major air travel disruptions.
NParks should not continue to challenge nature for obvious reasons. It’s pure folly to reduce drainage for trees while increasing their numbers. Otherwise, one should only expect more injuries and fatalities.
Screen grab from Albert Liang’s FB video.
It took only 2 seconds for the tree to hit the ground, hardly any time for motorists to react. A motorcyclist would probably have been killed or sustained serious injuries.
The video also shows the presence of a police vehicle before the fallen tree and about 10 cars had been stopped. But why was one lane not closed to traffic?