Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan took to Facebook on Monday (1 March) to urge the Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC) to build a sidewalk near Blk 190 at Bukit Batok after a vehicle knocked into a resident.
Dr Chee explained that a resident by the name Mdm Chen Jin Yan was walking on the service road near the abovementioned block when a vehicle hit her.
She said that she had no choice but to walk on the service road as there isn’t an accompanying sidewalk on that particular road.
Quoting Mdm Chen, Dr Chee wrote: “I was already walking close to the side of the road,” she said. “There were two vehicles passing each other when one of them knocked into me.”
She added, “The driver of the vehicle scolded her for walking on the road. But there isn’t anywhere else to walk on, she explained. The road doesn’t have an accompanying sidewalk.”
In addition to that, Dr Chee also noted that another resident told him that it’s “just a matter of time before an accident happens” at the area after observing the situation for years.
Residents living in the area have been requesting JRTC to build a sidewalk and a large number of them have signed a petition and submitted it to the Town Council (TC) on Saturday (27 February), Dr Chee said.
However, TC’s General Manager Jeffrey Wong merely: “In considering the viability of building a walkway, safety of the resident is important to us.”
As a response to Mr Wong’s reply, Dr Chee pointed out that the sidewalk must be built fast in order to avoid a recurrence of other past tragedies such as the fatal fire accident that happened two years ago in Blk 210A.
“If that is really the TC’s concern, then there should be no further argument: Build the sidewalk already.
“Don’t wait until a tragedy like the fire in Blk 210A strikes before the MP apologises and then decides to do something. By then, it’ll be too late. The fire, which took the life of a resident, could not be quickly put out because the hosereel was locked and, when the lock was broken, there was no water supply,” Dr Chee noted.
In November 2019, an elderly woman died after a fire broke out at Bukit Batok. It was reported that the firefighters were unable to use the fire hose reels at the location to put out the fire.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) revealed that several of the hose reel cabinets had been padlocked, adding that even after one of the padlocks was broke, firefighters were still not able to use the reel because there was no water supply.
Following this incident, JRTC was issued a warning by SCDF.