On hold: Newest batch of private-estate makeovers

The newest batch of upgrading projects for private estates has been delayed, in order to better manage the demand for construction workers, Senior Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon said.

Mr Edwin Tong (Marine Parade GRC) had asked for updates on the Estate Upgrading Programme (EUP).

Mr Koh said the 10th batch had been "deferred somewhat" after a review of public sector projects.

Last April, the Government told grassroots organisations that requests to spruce up the estates would be put on hold, The Straits Times understands.

The EUP, started in 2000 to upgrade and develop ageing private estates, has been implemented in 63 estates over nine batches, to the tune of about $187 million.

Yesterday, Mr Koh told MPs the ninth batch had been approved in May this year. Nine estates were selected. In total, 17 estates have ongoing EUP projects.

Said Mr Koh: "We would like to complete some of these ongoing projects first, before calling for new nominations. This will allow us to devote the requisite resources to better manage the new projects." He said it would take about eight to 10 months after nominations are submitted for eligible estates to be selected.

Mr Tong was concerned that private estates would be unable to upgrade ageing facilities like drains, sidewalks and roads. Mr Koh said he can contact the relevant government agencies to manage emergency situations.

Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) asked if MPs in opposition wards can work with the Citizens' Consultative Committee to draw up plans for EUP. Mr Koh replied that proposals are meant to be made by a committee "largely made up of residents who are staying there".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline 'On hold: Newest batch of private-estate makeovers'. Print Edition | Subscribe