Road through Bukit Brown to go ahead as planned

SINGAPORE - The road that will cut through the Bukit Brown Cemetary will proceed as planned,  said Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin in a recent post on Facebook post.

The Land Transport Authority will "use the findings from the documentation exercise to fine-tune the road alignment so as to reduce the impact on the graves," he said.

He added that some adjustments are already being made.

The plan to build a dual four-lane carriageway through Bukit Brown, announced in September last year, was meant to ease congestion on Lornie Road.

But it will result in 5 per cent of the cemetery’s 100,000 or so graves being exhumed.

After a visit to the cemetary yesterday, Mr Tan said that almost all of the 5,000 graves that will be potentially affected by the building of the new road have been documented.

Minister Tan said that as for the other 95 per cent of the cemetary, "we are happy to look into how the area can be enjoyed in the interim".

Last year, the Urband Redevelopment Authority announced that the Bukit Brown site was earmarked for future housing.

He revealed that the area could potentially yield some 15,000 homes for around 50,000 residents - or 40 per cent of homes in Toa Payoh.

“These are homes for many, many Singaporeans,” he stressed.

Noting that the "tensions over development and environment-history-heritage will only be more acute," he said: “Let’s see how we can develop Bukit Brown in the interim, to make it more accessible to visitors, even as we maintain its rustic charm.”

maryanns@sph.com.sg