Carpark next to ICA Building to close on Jan 1

An artist's impression of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's new Integrated Services Centre (left) next to the existing ICA Building in Kallang Road. The carpark next to the ICA Building will make way for the 10-storey centre.
An artist's impression of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's new Integrated Services Centre (left) next to the existing ICA Building in Kallang Road. The carpark next to the ICA Building will make way for the 10-storey centre.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

If you are intending to drive to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Building, take note: The carpark next to the Lavender facility will close on Jan 1.

The carpark will be demolished and in its place will come up ICA's new 24-hour Integrated Services Centre, the authority said yesterday.

Announced in May, the centre will make use of technology to shorten the process of picking up documents.

For instance, instead of having to make appointments to meet an ICA officer to collect identification documents, the new centre will have self-service kiosks which allow users to do the same using biometric technology, all within 15 minutes.

Although the new 10-storey centre is expected to be operational only in 2023, demolition works for the carpark will begin next year.

Those who still wish to drive to the ICA Building can use the carparks in North Bridge Road, Crawford Lane and French Road.

Even so, ICA encourages visitors to take public transport as its building is within walking distance from Lavender MRT station.

The taxi bay in Kallang Road and the pick-up and drop-off bay at the main entrance of the ICA Building can still be used.

To guide motorists unfamiliar with the new traffic arrangements, traffic marshals will be stationed in the area in the first three months of next year.

As part of its efforts to reduce potential traffic confusion, ICA directs people who require its services, such as those applying for passports or identity cards, to consider submitting their applications online instead of making a physical trip to its building.

Those collecting their passports, identity cards or long-term pass cards can also choose to do so at selected post offices for a service fee.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam had said in May that the centre will provide a "convenient, one-stop service" for users, part of ICA's attempts to address future challenges, such as increased traveller and cargo volume and a shrinking labour force.

For users to better plan their trips to the new building, the ICA website will also track real-time information on the crowd situation.

Similar tech-focused innovations have been introduced at other ICA checkpoints too.

Since April, an Automated Border Control System has been tested at Tuas Checkpoint, eliminating the need for passports to be scanned by using automated facial and iris recognition tools to verify Singaporeans' identities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2019, with the headline 'Carpark next to ICA Building to close on Jan 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe