TODAY: 200 show up in bid to save green lung

TODAY reported that 200 of Paris Ris residents had showed up for a closed-door dialogue with Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament Zainal Sapari, and representatives from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and National Parks Board, regarding the preservation of forested plot of land at Pasir Ris

200 show up in bid to save green lung

SINGAPORE – About 200 Pasir Ris West residents turned up yesterday to meet the authorities in a bid to preserve a parcel of forested land that is rich in biodiversity at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Elias Road.

Organised by the Pasir Ris West Citizens’ Consultative Committee, the dialogue session was also attended by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Zainal Sapari, as well as representatives from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board.

The residents, led by a group that calls themselves the Pasir Ris Greenbelt Committee, hope to conserve the woodland – about the size of two football fields – which is home to several endangered bird species. There are plans to build an international school there, although this is not confirmed.

At the closed-door meeting at Siglap Secondary School, they proposed that alternative sites be considered for the school.

The Greenbelt committee has submitted its report and proposals to the authorities, together with a petition started three weeks ago and signed by more than 1,200 residents.

Ms Liane Christie, 49, a resident who was at the meeting, told TODAY: “We don’t deny a school is important – but why in an area that is so wooded, with so much biodiversity?”

A URA spokesperson said the area had been intended for residential use since the start of the development of Pasir Ris Town, which was reflected in the Master Plan since 1998.

“We will take (residents’) feedback into consideration and work with the agencies and developers to ensure that the area will be developed sensitively,” she said, adding that residents can still enjoy nature beside Sungei Tampines at Pasir Ris Beach Park and at Pasir Ris Town Park.

Mr Zainal said he may raise questions in Parliament – after discussion with Pasir Ris West MP and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean – to learn more about how the URA decides which areas to conserve.

He said: “I learnt from the URA that there was public consultation. But knowing the ground wants to be engaged more, maybe we should rethink our strategy in terms of public consultation.”

Image from Emanon Cireneg





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