SINGAPORE - The final cost of developing one of Singapore's newest tourist attractions, Gardens by the Bay, will be within its approved budget.
In response to questions in Parliament today by Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan confirmed that although accounts are still being finalised, the cost will be within its approved $1.035 billion budget.
While this does not include the cost of the land, Mr Khaw said that figure includes the cost of creating the supporting infrastructure, such as a major access road (Marina Gardens Drive), the drainage works to channel surface run-off from the Marina Bay Downtown into the Marina Reservoir (via a lake and a subterranean canal) and the cost of soil improvement works to strengthen the reclaimed site.
He said: "The National Parks Board (NParks) took active steps to manage the costs down. For example, the Conservatories were reduced in size, and the number of Super Trees was halved from 36 to 18."
He estimated that the annual operating cost for the gardens is around $53 million.
Of this, $28 million is for operating the two Conservatories, and the remaining $25 million, for the outdoor gardens.
"The Government will subsidise half of the cost of operating the outdoor gardens. The rest of the operating cost, including for the two Conservatories, will be recovered through admission fees, commercial rentals, carparking charges and corporate sponsorships," said Mr Khaw.
The minister said that unlike other top gardens around the world, there is no entrance fee for most of the Gardens by the Bay.
He said: "For the Conservatories, a suite of ticket concessions is available to ensure that all Singaporeans will find it inexpensive to make multiple repeat visits."
Mr Khaw said that Gardens by the Bay has received 1.7 million visitors since its opening in June this year.