When contractors post notices asking residents to bear with expected construction noise and dust, they seem to do little to mitigate noise pollution.
They ought to do more by engaging with those likely to be most affected, address their concerns, seek solutions and adopt good practices to minimise the impact. For example, in removing concrete areas, contractors could be encouraged to use the environmentally friendly stitch coring method, where a series of overlapping holes are drilled, allowing for one large segment to be removed. It is relatively quiet, and vibration- and dust-free.
Recently, water pipes to 13 blocks in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4 were replaced. The contractor used handheld concrete breakers to break up reinforced concrete slabs. The hacking took place next to residential units, so I am sure it would have caused a great deal of disturbance to the occupants.
In another instance, cables needed to be diverted in Teck Whye Lane. The contractor used a jackhammer mounted on an excavator. Although the work was in an HDB block beneath dwelling units, the contractor simply barricaded the work area with no sign of any sound insulation.
Those in charge of municipal projects should consider the well-being of the residents, who should be able to go about their lives with as little disturbance as possible. Those in charge need to be more aware that those living in the affected areas include infants, children, the ill and the elderly, as well as those working from home, and need to do more than tell residents to grit their teeth and bear with the noise.
Loong Chik Tong