I am grateful to everyone who has responded with many fascinating ideas and proposals for enhancing flood protection in Singapore over the past week. I believe that Singaporeans expect and deserve better flood protection. However, we must proceed in a proactive, careful and comprehensive way based on best available scientific evidence. We must also take advantage of innovative new technology and engineering solutions.
Appointment of Expert Panel to assist in formulating long term plans
Consequently, I have decided to appoint a panel of local and overseas experts to conduct an in-depth review of all flood protection measures that will be implemented in Singapore over the next decade. The panel will be appointed within the next two weeks. It will assess the current drainage infrastructure, topography of flood prone areas, projected weather patterns, current and future building plans, information systems and potential new technological solutions. The review process will take at least six months.
MEWR will also be publishing for public consultation the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Drainage Review Committee consisting of members from the PUB and various Government agencies, including academics from the NUS and NTU. This committee was formed last year and has proposed:
a. Enhancing drainage design standards to cope with more intense rain;
b. Requiring new developments to comply with higher platform and crest levels,
c. Requiring building managers to enhance flood protection measures.
Immediate measures being undertaken by PUB
Whilst these long terms plans are being formulated, it is necessary to implement some immediate and early measures.
The safety of the public remains our top priority. Since 2 June 2011, PUB has begun a systematic review of all flood prone areas. To date, PUB has inspected about 70 locations and identified 30 locations which require enhanced safety measures. Works are being carried out to ensure that safety of the public is not compromised. To date, 1.67km of safety railings have been installed at 14 locations. The PUB will continue to monitor all flood prone locations and also encourages the public to provide any feedback which can help the PUB in identifying potential danger spots for members of the public. Members of the public who have suggestions or feedback can reach the PUB through email at PUBOne@singnet.com.sg or through the hotline at 1800–284–6600.
Protecting Vulnerable Buildings
PUB is working with owners of vulnerable buildings to enhance flood protection at their premises and accelerating some of the current drainage improvement projects. These include raising entrance crest levels and the installation of flood barriers.
Keeping the Public Informed
PUB will open its SMS Alert on Water Levels service for public subscription by 1 July 2011. This service will be free. Currently, the public can access information on the water levels of the canals at PUBs website (www.pub.gov.sg/managingflashfloods). Such alerts will also be posted on PUB’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/PUBsg) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/pubsingapore) with immediate effect.
I have also found the NEA website showing an animated real time map of rainfall in Singapore very useful – http://app2.nea.gov.sg/rain_animation.aspx
Some members of the public had asked for more data on rainfall patterns. The National Environment Agency will also make available online Singapore’s historical rainfall data, so that the public will be able to access the information easily for their reference and research.
Acceleration of Drainage Improvement Projects and Road Improvements
PUB will accelerate higher priority drainage improvement projects. These include
- A drainage improvement project is ongoing at Bukit Timah Canal (stretch from Maple Avenue to Jalan Kampong Chantek). PUB is accelerating works to increase the canal capacity by widening and deepening the existing canal and this will be completed by October 2011, while the whole project will be completed by December 2012.
In the MacPherson area, PUB is constructing an outlet drain near Lorong Bakar Batu Road (to complete by September 2011). PUB will also bring forward a project to deepen and widen several roadside drains in Sennett Estate.
Other major drainage improvement works include the Alexandra Canal, to provide flood alleviation at Lower Delta and Alexandra Road junction area; and Geylang River, to provide flood alleviation in the area near AZ Building and Certis Cisco Centre. Improvement works for the Rochor Canal, to protect parts of Little India, has also been scheduled for the later this year.
An open section of a drain along Grange Road will be covered to prevent stormwater from overflowing. PUB will also study the possibility of raising Grange Road to provide additional flood protection.
For a full list of drainage improvement works, please refer to the table below. Feel free to inform PUB if you notice other areas that may require improvements. Thank you all very much.
Location of Affected Areas
Bt Timah First Diversion Canal (Jln Kampong Chantek to Maple Ave)
Bt Timah Rd (Btw Wilby Road to Maple Road)
Geylang River Ph 1
AZ Building / Certis Cisco Centre
HappyAve Outlet Drain
Jln Gembira/Kg Ampat/ MacPherson Road/Upper Aljunied Road
Drains at Syed Alwi Area
Syed Alwi Road/ Kitchener Road/ Verdun Road / Kg Kapor/ Rowell Road/ Desker Road/ Sam Leong Road
Drains at Kelantan Road
Veerasamy Road/Hindoo Road
Orchard Road Raising
Orange Grove Road to Cairnhill Road, incl Cuscaden Rd/ Tomlinson Rd, Claymore Dr
Road Raising Work
Lor G Telok Kurau, Lor H Telok Kurau, Bedok Garden, Bedok Lane, Balmoral Road
Newton Circus near Keng Lee Road
Improvement to Old Roadside Drains
Cluster A Mayflower Rd , Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 / Ang Mo Kio St 23, MayView Town House, Tembeling Road, Everitt Rd / Lor 106 Changi, Hartley Grove/ Frankel St / Frankel Drive/ Frankel Walk Cluster B Jln Ma’mor,/Jln Bahagia, Dunearn Rd/Hillcrest Rd/Watten Drive, Derbyshire Rd, Outram Road, Hua Guan Ave, Tiong Bahru Road, Dorset Road/Owen Road, Tembeling Rd/Ceylon Rd
Improvement to Roadside Drain in Thomson Road area
Thomson Road (from Moulmein Road to Keng Lee Road), Derbyshire Road
Outlet Drain for Sin Ming Road to Braddell Road
Jln Todak / Sin Ming Rd
Drainage improvement works at Goodman Road
Goodman Road/ Boscombe Rd
Roadside Drain in Bedok South Road area
Bedok South Road
Improvement to Alexandra Canal (Between Zion Road and Kim Seng Road)
Lower Delta and Alexandra Road junction
Bt Timah First Diversion Canal (Maple Ave to Clementi Road) Phase 2
Bt Timah Area