Plaques in 8,600 niches turn out to be quartz, not marble

NEA contacting families of affected niches to offer replacement at no cost

The relocated niche of the late Mr Chua Whye Tau at Choa Chu Kang Columbarium. The NEA said that after receiving a query from a family, it sent samples for lab tests and ascertained that about 8,600 niches, out of the 13,000 that had been relocated,
The relocated niche of the late Mr Chua Whye Tau at Choa Chu Kang Columbarium. The NEA said that after receiving a query from a family, it sent samples for lab tests and ascertained that about 8,600 niches, out of the 13,000 that had been relocated, had quartz plaques. The remaining 4,400 were installed with marble plaques.ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

Some next of kin who were promised marble plaques for new niches as part of the Mount Vernon Columbarium relocation exercise realised that a similar looking material was used instead by the appointed contractor.

The Straits Times checked with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and learnt yesterday that quartz was used for 8,600 niches when they were relocated to government columbaria in Mandai and Choa Chu Kang.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Plaques in 8,600 niches turn out to be quartz, not marble'. Subscribe