Bonuses for team at fault 'will be affected'

A train arriving at Bishan MRT station on Oct 8, 2017. A press conference revealed that a maintenance lapse led to a flood in the tunnel between the Bishan and Braddell MRT stations on Oct 7.
A train arriving at Bishan MRT station on Oct 8, 2017. A press conference revealed that a maintenance lapse led to a flood in the tunnel between the Bishan and Braddell MRT stations on Oct 7. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The SMRT maintenance team which failed to properly maintain a flood-prevention system at Bishan MRT station will have their bonuses affected.

SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming said this yesterday at a press conference which revealed that a maintenance lapse led to a flood in the tunnel between the Bishan and Braddell MRT stations and rendered services along a stretch of the North-South Line (NSL) inoperable for 20 hours on Oct 7 and 8.

SMRT group chief executive Desmond Kuek said a senior executive had been redeployed so that an investigation into the team's entire workflow, processes and culture could be done in an open and transparent way. "It may not end up as one person. There will be a whole process of disciplinary proceedings and investigations that we will have to allow to take its proper course," he added.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said MRT system reliability has improved, going by the longer average distances trains are clocking before encountering a delay of over five minutes. But he acknowledged Singaporeans could not relate to the improvement. This is because two ongoing projects - improving existing MRT lines, and upgrading the NSL's signalling system, which has faced teething problems - have been "conflated".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Bonuses for team at fault 'will be affected''. Print Edition | Subscribe