$6.8million facelift for Bukit Panjang pond

SINGAPORE - Normally considered an area out of reach for Bukit Panjang residents, Pang Sua pond will undergo a makeover so that residents can use it for physical and other recreational activities.

A new boardwalk around the 3ha storm-water collection pond will be constructed to connect residents to facilities such as the Senja-Cashew Community Club and Bukit Panjang Neighbourhood 5 Park.

Part of national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme, the project will also include the building of two lookout decks and a multipurpose stage on the water for outdoor performances.

"Every pond, every waterway in Singapore is a potential community feature, and we will work with local communities to generate ideas so that there'll be facilities which families can use," said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, who unveiled the $6.8 million project at the Senja-Cashew community club yesterday. It is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

Dr Balakrishnan, an adviser to Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, added that the project will be integrated with transport plans for the neighbourhood.

"I want to have a way in which our children can walk, jog or cycle throughout the town without having to worry about vehicular traffic," he said.

PUB and the National University of Singapore, together with Dutch applied-research institute Deltares, will be test-bedding in-stream wetlands using plants such as pandan to absorb unwanted nutrients such as phosphorus from storm-water run-off before it reaches the pond.

"We want to treat the water before it reaches the pond so that the water quality in the pond will be improved," said Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's chief sustainability officer.

Shirley Yeo, 68, a Bukit Panjang resident, who leads a group of over 100 for brisk walks twice a week, is looking forward to the enhancements.

"I can take the group to walk in this area. The scenery is very nice and it's cool there," said the billing assistant.


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