Sunday, January 27, 2008

No Swimming

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority has unveiled plans to create a coastal promenade and a park in Woodlands, which is on the northern side of Singapore.

According to The Straits Times, residents and those living in nearby residential estates can look forward to a new waterfront recreational playground, right at their doorsteps.

The newspaper said URA will be building a 1.5-km long promenade and a nine hectare park along a tranquil stretch of coastline in Woodlands to improve accessibility to the area and to open up the scenic waterfront. The report added that the promenade, in the form of boardwalk will be built over the seawall to bring visitors closer to the water's edge.

Although it's not clearly stated in the ST report, Sophie's World assumes that the Woodlands coastline promenade will be along the Johor Straits as it is located on the northern side of Singapore.

The narrow strip of water separating Singapore and Malaysia is one of the filthiest bodies of water in the region. It's partly due to the land-based causeway, which prevents the natural flow of water in the distressed straits, as mentioned in an earlier posting.

Unfortunately, the two governments have not been able to come to terms to build a new overhead bridge to replace the old causeway. An overhead bridge will allow the dirty water to flow more naturally to the open seas.

In the meantime, the Singapore planning authorities must do the following to help ensure public safety and hygiene along the proposed Woodlands promenade:

1. Fence up the Woodlands coastline promenade. This will stop any person or dog from taking a dip in the giant cesspool and contract any skin disease;

2. Put up 'No Swimming' sign-board clearly along the promenade;

3. Ban fishing as fish in the Johor Straits are probably toxic due to the high levels of lead, mercury and e-coli bacteria;

4. Ban water sporting activities such as kayaking as exposure to the toxic straits could be a health hazard; and

5. Ban all flying objects such as kites or toy planes as they could well infringe the Malaysian airspace and start a new bilateral row!

No comments: