SINGAPORE - In a homage to its past as a Malay settlement in Geylang Serai, the Geylang River has been given a makeover to include four shelters which resemble kelongs, and a gazebo in the shape of a kampung hut.
It is the latest of 23 projects to have been completed under the PUB's Active, Beautiful and Clean (ABC) Waters programme, which aims to spruce up water bodies here. But the Geylang River is the first to have designs included to reflect its heritage.
In the 1840s, the British moved villages of Orang Laut (sea people) and Malays living at the mouth of the Singapore River inland, resettling them in clusters of kampung villages on the banks of the Geylang River.
PUB director of catchment and waterways Tan Nguan Sen said: "While we enhance the waterway, we also preserved a part of our heritage by integrating nostalgic elements of Geylang."
The $37.8 million project which began in 2010 included widening and deepening the 850m stretch of river from Dunman Road to Guillemard Road.
Together with an ongoing project to expand an upstream section of the river by the year's end, the drainage capacity of Geylang's catchment area will improve by 30 per cent, helping to provide better protection against floods.
Next on the ABC Waters programme agenda is to turn Rochor Canal into Rochor River by the end of the year. A 1.1km stretch of the concrete canal will be made into a river complete with decks and seating areas.