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SHS response to announced road alignment at Bukit Brown
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The Singapore Heritage Society’s response to the announcement of the aligned road through Bukit Brown….

STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE HERITAGE SOCIETY (21 March 2012)

We refer to the government’s announcement on Monday, 19 March 2012, of the 8-lane highway through Bukit Brown, which includes the building of a vehicular bridge.

The Singapore Heritage Society acknowledges the effort to minimise the disruption caused by the 8-lane highway to the flora and fauna of Bukit Brown, and we appreciate the resources spent on the documentation of the affected graves.

While we acknowledge the efforts to minimise disruption, the Singapore Heritage Society still has the following reservations. The 8-lane highway will destroy almost 4000 graves as well as the key landmarks of the internal road network, such as the main roundabout and the main gate, all of which form a central part of people’s social memories of Bukit Brown.

 

Beyond the 8-lane highway, there are also issues to address regarding the future of the largest Chinese cemetery outside China. They include:

  • the documentation plans for the rest of Bukit Brown for national education and nation-building needs; and
  • the protected status of Bukit Brown as a national park for all Singaporeans to enjoy.

In the meantime, and to reassure concerned Singaporeans that all possibilities were considered in making this decision, the Singapore Heritage Society hopes the government will share publicly:

  • The findings of its long deliberation over transport planning for this area, including why traffic solutions other than the 8-lane highway through the centre of Bukit Brown are conclusively unfeasible.
  • The rationale for the long-term development of Bukit Brown. Clarity on questions such as population growth projections, land ratio for public and private housing on the site, and hydrological consequences such as flooding, will go a long way in reassuring concerned Singaporeans that all possibilities were considered.

As the URA’s Concept Plan is a long-term plan that responds to changing circumstances, needs and assessments, the Singapore Heritage Society looks forward to continuing an open discussion with the authorities over the need to develop Bukit Brown for housing in twenty years’ time.

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