More areas come under PUB's Active Beautiful and Clean Waters programme

Channel NewsAsia 16 Nov 12;

SINGAPORE: Three more vicinities are set to be transformed by next year under the PUB's Active Beautiful and Clean Waters programme.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said 20 different vicinities have already benefited from the programme which began in 2006.

The programme aims to transform canals and drains into streams and lakes, and serves as focal community points.

One of the projects that will be completed next year includes the Sungei Ulu Pandan project.

Mr Christopher De Souza, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, said: "Would it be possible for the ministry to allow the residents and Sunset Way residents that fall within my ward to actually go very close to the water to learn about biodiversity, and to have river life extend to them proximately, and not just visually."

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan replied: "The whole idea of making it attractive and beautiful is to give access. The only caveat I would put is the issue of safety. So for instance if you would recall in the Bishan canal which was converted into a river because it's specially designed to be low-lying and people have access and can even walk across the river.

"However, during times of intense storms, the water can spread out very rapidly along the sides, that's why we've got various alarm systems and markings on the grounds in order to emphasise safety. We have to get a balance between access and public safety."

- CNA/de

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