RESIDENTS living in some of Singapore's older private estates can breathe a sigh of relief.
Their biggest bugbears - including uncovered, moss-riddled drains and dangerous pathways - may soon be gone.
They have suggested to The Straits Times a "wish list" of improvements after the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on Wednesday that it will spend $29 million on eight areas under the Estate Upgrading Programme (EUP).
Residents at Goldhill, Mayflower Gardens and Yio Chu Kang Gardens, Cashew and Hazel Park Terrace, Greenleaf, Bartley, Carmichael, Haig Road and the Limau neighbourhood said the upgrading is long overdue.
The MND selected each estate based on its age, physical condition and scope for improvement.
Ms Manjit Kour, 61, said the drains outside her home at Bartley Neighbourhood look like they are from the 1920s. "Everyone has upgraded their homes but the infrastructure outside hasn't kept up."
The retired corporate communications executive added that stagnant water in drains makes them prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Greenleaf residents are looking forward to the drains being covered so that they have a wider pavement and can avoid having to step onto the roads - sometimes in heavy traffic. The pavements, which are cracked at various spots, also need repair.
Chinese teacher Ivy Lee, 57, who lives in Yio Chu Kang Gardens, said the walkways there are very dangerous. "I've seen a lot of children fall and get injured badly on the gravel outside my house. I often have to run out and help them. Even adults can trip because of the uneven pavements."
An MND spokesman said that, in the past, EUP works have typically included accessibility ramps, wider footpaths, new green spaces, sheltered walkways, playground equipment, hard courts and basketball courts in parks.
It does not cover work on private land and facilities, including common areas in condominiums and private apartments.
The Straits Times spoke to about 50 residents of the selected estates and most of them gave suggestions for improvement. They include building elder-friendly overhead bridges at Goldhill, a sheltered walkway at Yio Chu Kang Gardens and a basketball court at Mayflower Gardens.
But the scope of the upgrading works for any specific estate depends on budget and whether the works proposed are feasible after taking into account factors such as site constraints.