By Terry Xu

Yesterday morning’s heavy storm brought more than 100 mm of rain to various parts of Singapore. Areas affected included the National University of Singapore and the Sungai Ulu Pandan and Sungai Pandan Kechil reservior banks, both of which overflowed. The flood created a major inconvenience for those going to work and to school.

Minister of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said on his Facebook page that the drainage improvement work at Commonwealth Avenue will be completed by June 2015. He also said that to resolve the flooding at the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), which had to be shut down during yesterday’s flood, will require a major project to expand Sungai Pandan Kechil. This will be expedited in view of the recent flooding, the minister said.

Flooding is not a new occurrence in Singapore. At Commonwealth, for example, there had already been records of similar floodings back in 2007.

 Video by Azhar Khamis

So will enhancing the drainage system resolve the problem?

While it is commendable to try to improve the drainage system to prevent future flooding , the effect of increasing urbanisation in Singapore should not be overlooked.

Minister Tan Chuan Jin, former Senior Minister of State for National Development, had denied this association of increased flood risk with urbanisation in Parliament during his budget speech this year. He pointed out that according to the expert panel which came up with the report published in January 2012, it did not say that large scale rapid urbanisation is the key contributor to the recent increase in flooding in Singapore. Instead, it said urbanization has led to an increase in storm water run-off which is what needs to be addressed. This is similar to what Dr Balakrishnan said in his comment after yesterday’s flood.

However, the report, titled, “Report on Key Conclusions and Recommendations of the Expert Panel on Drainage Design and Flood Protection Measures” , also said:

“The Panel was in general agreement that the increased urbanisation in the Stamford Canal Catchment might have been a contributing factor to the 2010 and 2011 floods, in addition to the higher rainfall intensities compared to design levels.”

“The Panel also noted that, other than generating higher and faster surface run-off, increased urbanization may also bring about other impacts such as increased heat production, changes in rainfall patterns and other climate change impacts. However, these specific impacts are still not well understood and there is a need for further studies.”

It would thus seem that the association or relationship between increased urbanization and flooding may be a real one, and not just some myth cooked up by conspiracy theorists.

With the recent announcements of a slew of major development works in the years ahead, we should pay more attention to what the experts have said – before it is too late.

 

 

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Human organs for sale

Society should help organ donors get a good price for their organs, argues Tan Kin Lian.

供短距离路程租用 微型车明年榜鹅登场

明年我们或许会在榜鹅路上看到方块形的微型车(Microcar),专门供人们租用来进行短距离路程,只需要2元就可使用半小时,且停靠路边时,它还会自动前往最靠近的充电站“充饥”。 据《亚洲新闻台》报导,微型车的设计和推广公司QIQGlobal联合创办人Justim Sim指出,他相信微型车能够在类似榜鹅的社区获得推广,因为大部分民众在前往乘搭支线巴士(feeder bus)或轻轨列车时都必须走一段路,而微型车能够为他们提供方便。 这外形迷你的微型车长约2.4米,车宽约一米,或将于明年在榜鹅进行实验计划,虽然目前尚在和交通及物流行业的两家公司洽商,但是预计将会推出300至600辆供租用。 Justim Sim指出,为了确保微型车只用于短程路途,他们将会透过卫星定位系统(GPS)或射频识别科技(RFID),在车上设置虚拟地理围栏(geo-fencing)。 和需要被送到充电站的电动车BlueSG不同,QIQ打算让微型车能够自行“觅食”。在驾驶者将车子听在路旁后,微型车会自动前往临近的充电站,之后自行停车,驾驶者根本无需为寻车位烦恼。 他表示,公司也打算为微型车使用车辆成队技术(platooning),即由人类驾驶的微型车通过无线通信,带领无人驾驶的车队前行。这旨在减少将车子分发到所需地点的人力。 而在非高峰期,Justim指出,人们也能够使用微型车进行送货服务,以达到最大程度的车辆使用。 他表示,半小时的微型车车费约两元,若每日多次使用,一个月的费用将介于30元至50元,这将大大减低人们的开销。

Breaking news: Former ISA detainee plans to sue Singapore Government

Former ISA detainee Michael Fernandez submitted a writ against the Singapore government…