Benefits of MRT line skirting nature reserve outweigh costs

I agree with senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan that it is not wise for the Cross Island Line to cut through the nature reserve ("Cross Island Line debate misses elephant in room"; Feb 16).

First, the environment will be affected. Phase 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment mentioned that the construction of the Cross Island Line will have moderate impact on the nature reserve and that its effects can be mitigated if appropriate measures are taken.

However, no matter how many precautions the contractor takes to mitigate the effects, there will still be some damage done to the nature reserve.

Second, the alternative alignment proposed by the Nature Society will present an opportunity to serve those who are currently not served by the MRT network.

Skirting the nature reserve will bring convenience to people and serve as many people as possible.

This will also help achieve the Government's aim of having eight in 10 households being within a 10-minute walk of a rail station by 2030.

The Land Transport Authority is concerned that the alternative alignment will lead to higher construction costs.

The higher ridership from the alternative alignment will help to cover the costs incurred in building the line.

Ian Tay Ke Yang