'I smell oil every day': Buangkok residents complain of foul air from 8 exhaust pipes on rooftop of neighbouring mall

'I smell oil every day': Buangkok residents complain of foul air from 8 exhaust pipes on rooftop of neighbouring mall
Buangkok resident Sun said the smell of fumes from the exhaust pipes opposite her block is unbearable.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Residents in a Buangkok HDB block have been left fuming following the installation of exhaust pipes on the rooftop of a neighbouring mall.

One resident surnamed Sun complained about the smell of oil and smoke emanating from the exhaust pipes which are visible from her flat window. 

The 44-year-old who lives at Block 999B Buangkok Crescent told Shin Min Daily News that her home faces Buangkok Square shopping mall. 

She purchased the high-rise unit early last year, and claimed that there was no such smell when renovations were ongoing then. 

The eight exhaust pipes on the mall's rooftop were install to get rid of the fumes from the F&B establishments inside the mall. 

"Every time I open the window there's an oil smell. It forces me to shut the windows or open them slightly." 

Sun installed an air purifier in her home, and has placed several fragrance bags around the house to combat the smell. 

She has also made complaints through the OneService app, but was told that the installation of the exhaust pipes comply with regulations as they did not directly face her flat. 

"I spent about $600,000 buying this unit, hoping to get a breath of fresh air. But I work from home and I smell oil every day, which is ridiculous," the woman lamented, adding that the stench gets worse when there's no wind. 

Sun said she would consider moving if the situation doesn't improve.

Another resident surnamed Huang, who stays on the 10th floor in the same block told Shin Min he's been complaining about the smell since 2020. 

Although the authorities have tried to mitigate the situation, the 36-year-old feels that their efforts are not enough. 

"Previous, the two large exhaust pipes were uncovered and we could smell the oil every day. Since then, they've added covers.

"Although the exhaust pipes face downwards, the situation hasn't improved and the smell of smoke and oil is still very pungent," said Huang. 

Another resident also surnamed Huang said the smell isn't the only problem. 

"They are very noisy, especially when I live on the same level opposite [the pipes]. I realised that many exhaust pipes in shopping malls are built in the basement. Why are the ones here installed on the rooftop?" 

Exhaust pipes comply with regulations: HDB 

In response to Shin Min's queries, a spokesperson from the Housing Development Board (HDB) said that the exhaust pipes comply with regulations. 

The spokesperson said that authorities had studied the site before installing the exhaust pipes and did not find any issues. 

"To mitigate any odour which might seep into residents' homes, the exhaust pipes on the rooftop of Buangkok Square were originally designed to face Buangkok Crescent with a four-lane road separating it from Block 999B. 

"Buangkok Square is 60m away from the HDB flat which exceeds the minimum requirement of 20m," said the spokesperson.

The Singapore Food Agency told Shin Min that their inspections show no excessive odour emitting from the exhaust pipes. They added that their air purification systems are also in working condition. 

The F&B operators also regularly hire contractors to carry out regular maintenance works on the exhaust pipes. 

READ ALSO: Chinatown resident 'protests' against cooking fumes from nearby restaurant


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