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Parliament: Workers’ Party MPs to ask questions on erroneous clearance of 70ha Kranji woodland

Is the contractor alone to blame or the agency also at fault, asks Dennis Tan

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Workers’ Party Members of Parliament (MPs) Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Leon Perera, and Gerald Giam are set to ask questions on the erroneous clearance of the 70-hectare Kranji woodland.

The forested area at Kranji Road was among plots of land earmarked for the development of the Agri-Food Innovation Park (AFIP).

According to a statement by JTC on Feb 16, a contractor had “erroneously” cleared the 70-hectare woodland. The agency said that it was investigating what had led to this mistake and determining whether the company should be further penalised.

So far, the construction company, Huationg Global Limited, has received a stern warning from the agency.

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On Feb 19, Huationg said in a press release that it is assisting JTC with the investigations.

It also said that it had been issued a stop-work order by JTC on Jan 13.

Many netizens and parliamentarians had spoken up on the issue.

Hougang SMC MP Dennis Tan was among the first few politicians to speak up, addressing the issue in a Facebook post on Feb 16.

In his post, along with questions he planned to ask in Parliament, he wrote that he “was shocked to read the news reports” and added: “While we do not yet know the full picture of the incident, this episode reinforces the need for greater protection for our forests”.

“Is a stern warning sufficient ‘teeth’ to undo anything or prevent further destruction? Under current guidelines then, who is held accountable for such breaches? Is it the fault of the contractor alone or is the agency overseeing such developments, in this case JTC, also responsible?” Mr Tan asked.

Similarly, in an Instagram post on Friday (Feb 19), the MP for Aljunied, Gerald Giam, wrote: “The premature clearance of the forest in Kranji woodland to develop the Sungei Kadut Eco District is a cause for concern on many levels.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gerald Giam 严燕松 (@geraldgiam)

Leon Perera, another MP for Aljunied, wrote in a Facebook post on Feb 16: “Our forests and woodlands are rare and precious. Not only do they serve as green lungs but they help preserve biodiversity. The work of contractors on such forest spaces could benefit from more independent oversight and checks.”


/TISG

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