[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, October 25, 2007

[Reservoir Community]
1. Bedok Reservoir came under Aljunied GRC from the 1997 General Elections. I have been honoured to serve residents living in the area as Member of Parliament since then, for about a decade now.

2. When I was in Secondary Two in 1968, a group of us from SJI did a class project on the reclamation of East Coast Park. I remember seeing Bedok Reservoir being dug then. The excavated earth was transported by conveyor belts snaking all the way to the sea where 3 and 4 SIR are today. The reservoir was designed to keep people away with steep sides, no public access to the water's edge and a big monsoon canal on one side. The reason was obvious: the water impounded was our drinking water and the less pollution, the better. Once it was clear that membrane technology (ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis) allowed us to purify water economically, PUB's policy on public use of our water reservoirs was progressively relaxed. Instead of discouraging the use of Bedok Reservoir, we are now encouraging it. The result is a complete transformation of the whole area with the water body becoming a focal point of activity.

3. An elaborate plan is now being implemented in phases to introduce water sports (fishing, canoeing, dragon-boating, sailing, wake-boarding etc) and to develop the parkland around it for leisure, sports and culture. The existing commercial area will be spruced up and reoriented towards the water. It will be renamed 'Reservoir Village'.

4. It is not difficult to build the physical facilities once we have the budget. Building a community around the reservoir, however, takes time and effort. We need residents and students to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility. The activities in the water must be safe and properly regulated. We must keep the water and the surrounding areas clean. Public properties should be looked after including the new adventure course, boat houses, toilets, park furniture, boardwalks, shelters and sculptures.

5. All the housing estates in the vicinity have either been upgraded or soon will be. New condos are sprouting up. Bedok Reservoir has improved much in recent years and is becoming quite an attractive habitat for those who live, study or work there. One day, an MRT station may be built. Real estate in the vicinity is already going up in value.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG

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