NParks must discard Lee Kuan Yew’s ‘garden city’ vision or expect more fatalities

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.

The fatality and injuries at Singapore Botanic Garden (SBG) are preventable if not for NParks maintaining LKY’s ‘garden city’ vision at all costs. Previous posts on this here and here.

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.

At -39 sec, tree started falling ..

-38 sec ..

-37 sec, car crashes into tree.

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?

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2 Responses to NParks must discard Lee Kuan Yew’s ‘garden city’ vision or expect more fatalities

  1. Confused says:

    “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.”

    This sounds too familiar.

    Most of the lifts here in Singapore have maintenance contract with the Lift contractors which are monthly for industrial building while I do not know for residential.

    However, as the Singapore Corp ramped up new buildings like no tomorrow, the number of lifts to be maintained have also increased by many folds. However, the available pool of technicians required for the maintenance either stayed or the increase surely shy of the pace of the actual lift growth.

    I have reason to believe that as a results of being shorthanded, those irresponsible lift contractors took in more contracts than it can chew and in turns, they short-changed their clients but giving substandard maintenance services so much so that it leads to breakdown of lifts and all those things that we know. There maybe more that we are not aware?

    So instead of taking those irresponsible contractors to task, our authority ingeniously comes out with all the ways of spending more of our tax monies and in turn looks to increase our Town Council maintenance fund. Isn’t this classic example of mismanagement when one only manage by spending more and more money and nothing else?

    My friend just told me the other day, the best trade to go in now is to be a lift car maintenance contractor. This says it all.

  2. Phillip Ang says:

    HDB residents have been shortchanged for a very long time, not just for lift maintenance. I don’t know if anyone has noticed the town council estate officer is missing in action. The TC can even request residents to provide feedback on issues which the estate officer should be automatically tending to.
    Cutting corners is now the norm. Many accidents waiting to happen. 😦

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