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PUB: Throwing money down the drain

~ By Phillip Ang ~

I understand PUB's predicament as a result of inclement weather but totally disagree with the planned usage of $750 million for upgrading. After having submitted numerous feedback reports on the state of our drainage system, there has been no assurance as to my emphasis on the need for proper maintenance, and the PUB has yet to take the necessary steps to ensure drainage inlets are free from blockage.

I am a keen observer and travel to different parts of Singapore, and my recent observations seem to suggest that the replies from PUB has not been followed with concrete action.

Along Dunearn Road and other places, many drainage inlets were observed to be choked with so much hardened sand that there is no more room for leaves to pass through.

Meanwhile, closer to my home, it is not uncommon to see such 'green' gratings.

And along East Coast Road, there is more of the same.

All these examples and thousands more like them resulted from months and years of neglect. The causes could be insufficient budget allocated to get things properly done, foreign workers who have been overworked by money-minded contractors and civil servants who are not in touch with the reality on the ground.

The government must conduct its own checks through an independent third party as it has been status quo with PUB for too long. With some 30,000 grassroots leaders vounteering their time for various initiatives, this could be executed without much complexity. Students on vacation are another alternative and their contribution and effort could be recognised through Community Involvement Programme (CIP) points. Motorists caught in jams could take note through casual observation and filter the feedback back to the authority, as could pedestrians.

It is prudent to note that existing drainage inlets complement new ones being installed, and installing swanky new drains without maintenance of the existing drainage network, is simply throwing the money down the proverbial drain. For the entire system to function smoothly, blockage has to be eliminated or minimised first. Unfortunately, PUB has been unable to ensure this even after much feedback.

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