Let Govt do full study on Cross Island Line's impact

I read with much unease senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan's commentary ("Cross Island Line debate misses elephant in room"; Feb 16) and the views of nature lovers who are concerned that the Cross Island Line will cut through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve ("Get priorities right in building Cross Island Line" by Mr Lee Swee Mun, Feb 15, and "Lessons to be learnt from construction of BKE" by Dr Chua Ee Kiam, Feb 17).

Much of their worry is on the potential damage to plants and the displacement of animals that consider the reserve their homes.

While I share their concern, and I am a regular user of the park, preservation should not be limited to just nature. What about the preservation of our heritage, our identity, streets and buildings that may have to go to make way for the line?

I cannot help but think about home owners who face the possibility of having their homes acquired, should the line run around the area ("Saving forests may uproot residents instead" by Mr Anthony Oei; Feb 18).

These are families who have lived many years in the same area and have developed the "kampung spirit" with their neighbours.

I am particularly concerned because my own grandparents have been living in the area since I was a young child.

My family has such fond memories of the place where many children and grandchildren have grown up.

We still gather every month at my grandparents' place for lunch.

They would be devastated if the place were taken away from them.

We live in a small country and I urge Singaporeans to be pragmatic.

Many of us rely on public transport, and I look forward to the day when we are connected everywhere by public transport.

If the faster, direct route is to cut under the nature reserve, then maybe we should look at how this can be done with the latest engineering technology.

I am sure the Government will study all options, and I hope it will consider the impact to residents as well, and not just the natural environment.

The least we can do is let the Government carry out its works and weigh the various factors on what works best for Singaporeans.

If, at the end of the day, the decision is to take away homes, then we will at least know the matter was studied carefully.

Ang Hong (Madam)

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