Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed in a written parliamentary reply yesterday that the cost of the damage caused by the unprecedented tunnel flooding between Bishan and Braddell MRT stations on 7 Oct last year amounted to about S$2 million.
Khaw – who also serves as Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure – was responding to a question by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera on the extent of damage to equipment and facilities and the estimated costs of repairs.
Khaw revealed that the cost was borne by SMRT and that the flood waters – which covered 100 metres of tracks in both directions and was up to 1 metre deep – “submerged trackside equipment as well as components installed on the undercarriage of the train that had stalled in the tunnel.”
Train services on the North-South Line were disrupted for more than 20 hours due to the flooding, inconveniencing countless commuters.
Interestingly, the authorities declined to convene a Committee of Inquiry even after internal investigations showed that an SMRT maintenance team had falsified records that work to maintain the tunnels were being carried out while no works were done for almost an entire year.
SMRT sacked 8 employees and disciplined 3 others over the incident. The transport operator also revealed that it could pursue legal action against two former executives who left the company during the investigations.