It has been more than 5 decades since the birth of Lee Kuan Yew’s “city in a garden”.
Trees have now matured and the weather isn’t getting any friendlier. Due to billions of cubic metres of concrete having been poured into the ground, trees are unable to grow healthily and susceptible to falling down unpredictably.
Tree-related accidents are on the rise, the latest occurring on 29 June. And it wasn’t even raining/not very windy when the 6-storey tall tree collapsed (images below).
To date, the government has planted more than a million trees and the possibility of getting hit by a falling tree is no longer remote.
Despite a spate of accidents involving very tall mature trees, civil servants/MPs have ignored safety concerns. No one is arguing for all tall trees to be cut down but a policy review is overdue.
Due to extreme weather and landscape changes, more frequent inspections are urgently needed.
Cutting corners by cutting costs has put our lives at risk. In February this year, an Indian national was killed and 4 others were injured after a 40-metre Tembusu tree fell.
About a month later, a large 12-metre tree at West Grove Primary School fell. Fortunately, no child was injured. There are many other instances and we should not count on luck to prevent an accident.
I have highlighted this issue since years ago, eg 2013 October @ City in a garden/garden in a city turning into a nightmare for motorists
LKY is dead and no one is arguing for his garden in a city be buried as well. What NParks needs to do is increase the frequency of inspections.
Otherwise, should another preventable accident occur, NParks must be held liable for negligence. 😦