Nature Society proposes Cross Island Line alternate routes to save nature reserve

Diverting the proposed Cross Island Line would only add four minutes to travel times and prevent damage to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Singapore's Nature Society said on Thursday.

The society released a 40-page position paper online outlining two alternate routes to the Government's proposed MRT line, which would bisect the nature reserve.

"Our opinion is that nature reserves have been gazetted for a clear reason and that is for the conservation of fauna and flora. The nature reserve should not be treated as vacant State Land available to be used for the convenience of transport infrastructure," it said in the paper.

The society also described the damage that would be caused to the reserve by site investigations of the proposed line. These include boreholes which would reach 70m underground. "The soils of the central nature reserve are shallow...and particularly vulnerable to erosion. Past experience shows that current mitigation schemes to contain erosion and siltation are not sufficiently rigorous to avoid the problem of siltation in the nature reserves," it said.