Singapore Government Press Release

Media Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts,

MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369

Tel: 837-9666

 

SPEECH BY MR ABDULLAH TARMUGI,

MINISTER FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & SPORTS

AND MP FOR EAST COAST GRC (SIGLAP)

AT THE COMPLETION CEREMONY FOR THE

OPERA ESTATE DRAINAGE SCHEME

AT SWAN LAKE AVENUE ON SAT, 9 FEB 2002, 10.00 AM

 

Mr Lim Swee Say,

Minister for the Environment,

Chairman and Board Members of PUB,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning,

On 28 Sep 96, I was here to launch the implementation of the Opera Estate Drainage Scheme. This morning, it gives me great pleasure to be with the residents of Opera Estate again to witness the completion of the scheme by the Public Utilities Board.

For many years, living with floods had been a way of life for many residents of Opera Estate. The worst hit were residents living in the area bounded by New Upper Changi Road, Swan Lake Avenue, Fidelio Street and Dido Street. Residents living along Carmen Street, Carman Terrace and Lakme Terrace were also not spared. Many of you would recall how disruptive the frequent floods were and the hassle of cleaning up after the floods. The floodwaters had also made roads impassable to traffic.

Since early in my career as Member of Parliament for Siglap, I had pushed for programmes to solve the flooding problem in Opera Estate. Finally, the Drainage Department started work on an ambitious drainage project in September 1996, after a considerable period of study, planning and preparation.

I was told that the drainage work was by no means a simple one. The old canal was sandwiched between two rows of houses. To enlarge it would have meant having to demolish many of these houses to make way for a wider canal. Thankfully, the drainage engineers came up with an innovative pump drainage system that kept the new drain to within the available space and therefore avoided the need for extensive land acquisition and clearance.

Opera Estate is now served by an automated pump drainage system that incorporates state-of-the-art pumping and control devices. To save space, much of the facility is built below ground, including a water storage pond. In fact, the underground pond is right below where we are now assembled. A unique "two-tier" drain has also been built to reduce the pumping effort and thus save energy. The pump drainage system designed by the drainage engineers is the first of its kind to be used in Singapore.

Today, I am happy to note that the completion of the $31 million drainage scheme has made frequent floods in Opera Estate a thing of the past.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the residents of Opera Estate we would like to express our appreciation to PUB�s Drainage Department for their effort and hard work in successfully completing the drainage project and eliminating the floods problem in Opera Estate. Thank you.

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