What's LTA's role in equipment maintenance?

I am deeply troubled by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan's statement that "the SMRT team in charge of maintaining the anti-flood system at Bishan has failed us" (Flooding in MRT tunnel preventable, says Khaw; Oct 17).

One wonders what role the Land Transport Authority (LTA) plays as regulator and asset owner, now that it has completed the transfer of operating assets from SMRT to itself, which presumably includes the ancillary equipment.

The LTA had assured the public that it would conduct "asset condition surveys" to ensure that older operating assets were in acceptable condition at the point of transfer.

This presumably excludes the anti-flood system, as that is fairly new, having been installed in 2011.

However, it has now been found to be "poorly maintained" despite quarterly checks.

How, then, has the LTA ensured that the other pieces of equipment that were transferred were in proper condition and, subsequently, if maintenance had been carried out appropriately?

Does the LTA take a proactive role in auditing SMRT's maintenance of equipment, now that the equipment is owned by taxpayers, or is it reactive, mostly taking SMRT's word that the equipment had been serviced, and investigating only when things go wrong?

Shawn Lee Chieh Loong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'What's LTA's role in equipment maintenance?'. Print Edition | Subscribe