Cleared woodland

Account of what happened and action taken to rectify damage needed

I refer to the clearing of the Kranji woodland (Over 8ha of Kranji woodland cleared since March last year, Feb 19).

JTC Corporation disclosed that it had discovered the mistake on Jan 13 only on Feb 16, after evidence of the deforestation was posted on social media.

Under the Parks and Trees Act, it is illegal to fell a tree with a girth exceeding 1m growing on any vacant land.

From what I know, when any tree, even in a private garden, is to be removed, the property owner has to seek written approval from the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.

The application must state the reasons for felling the tree and be accompanied by a report from a professional arborist.

It is therefore difficult to accept that an experienced contractor would commence clearing swathes of forested land before an environmental assessment had been completed and written permission had been received from JTC.

It is also difficult to accept that JTC simply ordered all clearing works to stop and issued a stern warning to the contractor.

I look forward to reading a full account of precisely what happened, and what action is being taken to rectify the damage that has been done.

Richard Howe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Account of what happened and action taken to rectify damage needed'. Subscribe