Pandan Reservoir needs a revamp

While it is a big feather in the cap for the Singapore Botanic Gardens to be awarded Unesco World Heritage status, writer Natalia Huang is spot-on in saying that "if we strengthen biodiversity in our nature areas and enhance the diversity of nature areas for multiple purposes, then, perhaps, the whole of Singapore... will be celebrated internationally for its nature areas" ("Diverse goals of S'pore's nature areas"; Tuesday).

As a much-touted "Garden City", Singapore is getting there, but has not quite arrived yet.

One nature area that needs diversity enhancement is the Pandan Reservoir. With a length of 6.7km and the size of 43 football fields - requiring a walker 90 minutes to circumnavigate - the reservoir is devoid of any trees, bushes or flowers.

It is an arid jogger's track not meant for running in the noon sun, and no nearby resident will find it suitable as a place to recharge his mind and body.

I believe that this reservoir has been neglected since its inception, save for the addition of a fisherman's jetty and a spot for kayaking.

It is time the national water agency PUB considered plans to enhance this precious resource in the industrial heart of Singapore.

Compared with other reservoirs like MacRitchie, Lower Peirce, Seletar and Bedok, which have been lovingly nurtured as green lungs for Singaporeans, Pandan Reservoir needs a serious revamp.

The PUB, together with the National Parks Board, must come up with plans to make it a more attractive sanctuary for stressed-out Singaporeans in an increasingly overcrowded nation.

Patrick Low Soh Chye

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Pandan Reservoir needs a revamp'. Print Edition | Subscribe