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Yesterday     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999

Buangkok Station may open in 2-3 years

Excerpt of speech by DPM Lee Hsien Loong on 28 Aug 2003

Source: www.gov.sg 

"Residents all along the Northeast corridor have looked forward to the NEL for a long time. That is why the opening of the NEL is an occasion for celebration. Overall, LTA and the operator - SBS Transit - have done an excellent job, completing an extremely complex project within budget, with only slight delays to an ambitious timetable.

"With a project of this magnitude, there are bound to be hiccups and teething problems. We should attend to them and sort them out, but we should not let them cloud our perspective of the whole project, which overall is a great achievement and a boon to commuters.

"I hope you will not mind me mentioning on this happy occasion one problem which has attracted extensive attention over the last few weeks, and that is Buangkok Station.

"We need to separate two issues: the substance of the decision, and the handling of the problem. On the substance, the delay in the opening of the Station is the right decision. There are not enough developments within the primary catchment area of the station to justify opening it.

"I gather that some residents living near Buangkok station were thinking of bringing a statue of a white elephant to the station as a gift when the trains started running. Luckily they did not do that, because if we had opened the station, and then found it empty of commuters with staff manning it and lights and air conditioning running, the residents would have needed to bring an even bigger white elephant.

"But given that we could not open Buangkok station, we should have handled the issue much better. We should have prepared the residents living near the station early, and explained to them the problem and why we had to defer the opening.

"Instead the residents were left thinking that the station would open, till just a few days before trains started running. So it is not surprising that they feel disappointed and short changed. The MP and grassroots leaders too, have been embarrassed, because they had earlier reassured the residents that the station would open. This is most unfortunate.

"I am sorry the matter has turned out this way. We will make sure that we do not repeat these mistakes, and do better next time. The question is now how we can solve the problem. One step is to provide adequate feeder bus services, so that residents have good connections to the interchange and to other NEL stations. This has been done.

"Another priority is to build up the population around Buangkok station quickly, so as to create enough traffic to justify opening it. As the Minister for National Development has promised, HDB will give priority to building flats around Buangkok station. LTA's estimate is that once there are about 2,000 housing units around Buangkok, it can justify opening the station. Hopefully we will be able to reach this critical mass within 2 to 3 years"

Source: Singapore Government Press Release 28 Aug 2003

 

NEW ARTS EVENTS IN TOWN

Animal Farm 2003 3-21 Sep 2003

Time For Puppets  3-14 Sep 2003

Children's Sculpture Exhibition  6 - 24 Sep 2003

Septfest 2003 Sep - Oct 2003

Scherbakov Plays Rachmaninov  24 Sep 2003

Beyond Therapy 15-24 Oct 2003

The Vagina Monologues 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2003

If you have an event or some news to share with our readers, send the details, including picture(s), to us at editor@getforme.com  

 

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Tuesday
2 September 2003

Singapore Time