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Environmental Impact Assessment of Cross Island Line to kick off

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the tender to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the portion of the Cross Island Line around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

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SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the tender to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the portion of the Cross Island Line around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

The tender was awarded to global consulting firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and the study will start immediately. The LTA said ERM has put together a team that has conducted similar studies for transport projects in places such as the United Kingdom and has a biodiversity arm that has a good understanding of Singapore’s environment.

The 50km Cross Island Line will connect Jurong to Changi when it is completed in 2030. The announcement of the line last year drew much consternation from nature groups, which were concerned about the environmental impact of the line if it cuts through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

The LTA will take into consideration the EIA findings in making a decision on the alignment.

In the first phase of EIA, a baseline study of the existing ecosystem and the physical conditions along the various alignment options will be conducted. ERM will also be required to provide a mapping of habitats, assess the impact of proposed soil investigation work and recommend guidelines and appropriate mitigating measures before carrying out any activities in the nature reserve.

In the second phase, ERM will focus on assessing the potential impact to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve during the construction and train operations and propose mitigation measures during these stages.

The EIA report is targeted for completion in 2016.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Senior Minister of State (Transport) Josephine Teo said a robust EIA is critical, given that the Cross Island Line will either skirt around or cut through the nature reserve.

She added that the Government will continue to engage stakeholders.

“The (line) is a vital part of our rail network expansion plans. Given that it will be connected to most of our existing and new rail lines by 2030, (it) will provide more travel options and alternative routes for commuters. It is important we remain on track for the work required for the CRL while giving due care to nature,” she said.

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