SINGAPORE - Work to repair the extensive damage caused by Friday morning's landslide at a Clementi Build-To-Order site will start next week, but those who bought flats there have been assured there should be no delay in moving in.
The landslide affected the part of the Clementi NorthArc site where a retaining wall – a structure that holds back earth or water – was being built, and where a basketball court and pavilion would be located. The authorities have ordered work on this part of the BTO site to be stopped until further notice.
A massive amount of soil was also pushed into the Ulu Pandan canal, raising flood concerns, while a short portion of the park connector beside the site was left cracked and broken. One passer-by sustained minor injuries, and was treated at the site.
Engineers from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing Board have confirmed that nearby buildings remained structurally sound, while national water agency PUB said the water quality in the nearby Pandan Reservoir is not affected.
Work on the residential blocks at the BTO site will not be affected.
Addressing concerns that the landslide may cause delays for new flat buyers, Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann, who is the area’s MP, said it is unlikely that key collection for the Clementi NorthArc units would be delayed, with the first batch being planned for December.
HDB added on Facebook: “We will keep flat buyers updated should there be any changes to the completion date of their flats.”
The BTO project was launched in February 2017 with an estimated completion date in the second half of this year. But it has been hit with delays, with the latest delay of up to six more months till March next year. The delays were mainly due to disruptions in construction activities during the Covid-19 pandemic as borders were closed, affecting workers and supplies.
Ms Sim told reporters at the site that the early morning landslide was a “very distressing incident”.
She added: “The damage has been quite extensive and quite a lot of effort will have to be expended on making sure that the repair methods are very properly considered and carried out, so this will also take some time."
HDB also said for safety reasons, the area around the site, including the park connector next to it, has been temporarily cordoned off.
The National Parks Board said: “Both banks of Sungei Ulu Pandan, from Commonwealth Avenue West (near Ghim Moh Road) to Ayer Rajah Expressway, will be closed to facilitate repair works from today till further notice.”
A small but steady stream of people were seen taking photos and videos of the rare landslide.
Most of the residents, cyclists and joggers whom The Straits Times spoke to expressed shock at the scale of the landslide and concern for the safety of park connector users.
HDB said on Facebook that the works at the incident site would include removing the dislodged soil in the canal, repairing the damaged part of the park connector, as well as reconstructing the slope and retaining walls within the site.
In the meantime, HDB is working with the contractor, Chiu Teng Construction, to pour a thin layer of concrete on the affected site to stabilise the slope.
HDB said it would also be creating a channel to improve water flow through Sungei Ulu Pandan.
ST understands that this is because the blockage caused by the landslide has created a flood risk.
While water can still flow in the canal without the creation of the channel, intense rainfall could cause flooding upstream.
Earlier on Friday, PUB said it was monitoring the situation and quick response team vehicles were on standby to respond to any potential flooding incidents.
Ms Sim, in her Facebook update, said utilities supply to the surrounding areas would not be affected as no damage was detected.
- Additional reporting by Isabelle Liew