MRT line across catchment area could affect an integral space

Vinita Ramani Mohan Today Online 12 Feb 13;

I was appalled to read that the Land Transport Authority proposes to build a Cross Island Line by 2030 that will cut across the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (“Nature group concerned about impact of MRT line”, Feb 4).

The catchment area encloses parks and reserves that are protected under the Parks and Trees Act. What clauses permit the construction of such a line?

A viable public transport system is vital in a city where cars are unaffordable. But the catchment area is also integral to providing Singaporeans with much-needed space for recreation, community building and family bonding. The proposed line would disrupt this.

The Government has been trumpeting that we are not merely a “garden city”, but a “city in a garden”.

However, along with the Parliament passing the White Paper, which projects a population of up to 6.9 million in 2030, citizens like myself doubt whether we will be living in such a city in the coming decades.

A significant population increase and deforestation would make us no different from any other polluted, overcrowded city. The only difference is that we would have no rural outback or hinterland to which to retreat.