SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - More than half of the potted plants that once crowded a common corridor at a Pasir Ris Housing Board block are gone.
What was once a dark, forbidding 8m-stretch lined with plants as tall as 3m is now well-lit and spacious, with fewer than 20 pots.
Following complaints and newspaper reports that an eighth-storey flat owner at Block 101 Pasir Ris Street 12 was overcrowding the corridor outside her flat with plants said to number up to 80 pots, workers from Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council on Tuesday (May 28) helped the owner remove more than 30 potted plants.
According to Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News, Singapore Civil Defence Force officers were also seen that day conducting checks and taking measurements of the area.
Mr Zainal Sapari, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, told The New Paper on Wednesday the town council had engaged the owner previously.
"Several times she would comply, but would put the items back a few months later," he said.
He added that obstruction along corridors is a common problem.
But as long as the corridor has a clearance of at least 1.2m and when the obstacles are not fire hazards, the town council tends to take a lighter approach, such as warnings, said Mr Zainal.
"Issuing a summon is usually a last resort," he added, explaining why the town council had to warn the flat owner.
According to Shin Min, the woman was approached by the town council on Tuesday, and given one week to clear a 1.2 metre space in the corridor.
A next-door neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Ms Y. S., said the removal of the plants would make the corridor, which is near two staircases, safer in the event of an emergency.
"If someone were to need an ambulance, it would be much easier to get through," she said.
"I don't just feel safer for myself, I feel it's safer for her (the owner) as well."
Ms Y. S. said two town council workers helped the owner with the removal.
She added: "She (the owner) was working until 1am yesterday."