Singapore's little 'fruit' island in Punggol Reservoir

Cara van Miriah, The Electric New Paper 5 Nov 07:

Punggol's Fruity Sensation,
First look at floating platform at S'pore's reservoir island

IT WILL be Singapore's little 'fruit' island, right in the middle of Punggol Reservoir. Visitors will be able to take a scenic stroll to a fruit-themed platform on the island when it is opened to the public in 2009.

The platform, which is half the size of a football field, will be linked to the mainland by two bridges. The fruity theme is appropriate because one of the bridges will lead to the upcoming Sengkang Fruit Park, which will have dragon fruit, longan, pulasan, avocado, mandarin orange and durian trees.

The Fruit Park will be completed by the second half of next year.

Giving The New Paper on Sunday a preview, PUB said the fruit-themed platform on the island will feature a large purple mangosteen pavilion which will overlook Punggol Reservoir.

There will be colourful 'lime' seats on the deck, and visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of fish beneath the platform through the glass in three 'orange slice' features.

Surrounding the platform will be a natural habitat for fish and birds.

The project is part of PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme.

With more than 20 projects islandwide, the programme will transform Singapore's network of canals, drains and reservoirs into picturesque rivers and lakes, along with a host of recreational and lifestyle activities.

The platform at Punggol Reservoir will also be able to facilitate water sport activities.

Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's director of Catchment and Waterways who is in charge of the ABC Waters programme, said: 'The bridge which will link the island to the Sengkang Sports Complex and Anchorvale Community Club will offer visitors a beautiful view of the reservoir and kayakers.

'The floating boardwalk or bridge which will connect the platform and the Fruit Park will move in tandem with the changing water levels.'

When completed, all this will give residents of Punggol, Sengkang and Pasir Ris much to see and do.

On the Fruit Park, a National Parks Board spokesman said: 'It is a living classroom for visitors of all ages to learn about the trees that produce the tropical fruits sold in our markets. Covering 21ha, this edutainment facility will also allow park visitors to see and experience nature first hand.'

There will be no admission charge to the Sengkang Fruit Park or the fruit-themed platform.

Said Mr Michael Palmer, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC: 'The residents at Sengkang and Punggol have been waiting for a long time for new amenities to be developed. When completed, the new features will add a different dimension to the estates.

'This will be one of the major lifestyle hub for residents.'

Built on 4ha of land beside Sungei Punggol, the Sengkang Sports Complex and Anchorvale Community Club will have four swimming pools, an indoor sports hall, and a synthetic soccer field.

The four-storey complex is the first sports- cum-community centre in Singapore with a waterfront view.

To be completed by the first half of next year, it will have facilities like a multi-media room, a tea arts room, playrooms, a large multi-purpose hall and a roof terrace.

Visitors can also expect shops, a riverfront cafe and other eateries.

The 200-seater indoor sports hall will be able to accommodate 12 badminton courts, and can be used for basketball and volleyball games too.

Punggol residents like Madam Molly Lee are looking forward to the developments taking shape.

As the mother of two put it: 'There is something for everyone - young and old - to do and see at the upcoming park.

'For me, the fruit-themed pavilion which is located in the middle of the reservoir is the most interesting feature.'

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