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Marred by MRT construction site, Kim Seng Park deserves to be better protected

As a resident of the River Valley area, I have followed the construction of Great World MRT Station along the Thomson-East Coast Line with interest.

Marred by MRT construction site, Kim Seng Park deserves to be better protected

Kim Seng Park seen on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

As a resident of the River Valley area, I have followed the construction of Great World MRT Station along the Thomson-East Coast Line with interest.

Construction began sometime in 2014, with the station expected to be completed by 2022.

Given the emphasis on our environment, I wish to share my concerns about how the project has adversely affected the nearby Kim Seng Park.

The construction site has impeded access to the park and the Singapore River from River Valley Road and Kim Seng Road.

The construction of Great World MRT Station along Kim Seng Park on June 30, 2021. Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY

Entering the park requires one to walk down a long concrete alley bounded by construction hoarding.

Noise, dust and loss of greenery have reduced the park to a simple series of paths by the riverside, such that it is no longer pleasant for walking, cycling or exercise.

Recently, residents around the project are constantly enduring machine-gun-type noises by pneumatic hammers.

If other commercial developments or parking facilities come up near the MRT station, the park will remain in a sorry state long after the station’s completion.

Linear parks are an excellent way to add larger green spaces to urban areas.

The Singapore River, which meanders around parts of Kim Seng Park, is an excellent backdrop for a large green space in this area.

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of green lungs in our urban landscape.

In the absence of regular social activities, parks have provided us with much-needed respite through exercise and recreation.

I, therefore, urge the National Parks Board and other government agencies to safeguard the future of Kim Seng Park by earmarking land for its expansion and drawing up plans for its refurbishment.

There is some room in the area to expand the park from its present (and indeed previous) small footprint.

A decent linear park should have significant tree coverage, flower gardens and benches for park-goers to rest.

A modern high-quality park would be a suitable memorial to its eponym, the pioneering Tan Kim Seng, whose philanthropic contributions to Singapore’s freshwater supply and social services deserve greater recognition.

A memorial to Tan, in the form of a plaque, statue or fountain, could be a fitting centrepiece.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

Great World MRT Station Kim Seng Park construction environment nature

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