SINGAPORE: With potential impact across a broad spectrum of stakeholders — the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, businesses, home owners, commuters and taxpayers — the Government has “a responsibility” to study both Cross Island Line alignment options thoroughly, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA), stressing no decision on the alignment has been made.
In a letter addressing public concern after the report on phase one of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was released earlier this month, LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong also offered a glimpse at the future MRT line’s possible cost: The longer option, which will skirt around the nature reserve, could cost S$2 billion more in extra works and result in land and home acquisition.
Debate over the best alignment option for the Cross Island Line and the potential impact on the nature reserve reignited after the EIA report, done by an external consultant, was gazetted on Feb 5.
With strong public interest, the LTA last Friday made the rare move of posting the report online; previously, the public would have to make an appointment to inspect any of the five copies available at the LTA. The report detailed the effects that site investigation work for the line would have on the nature reserve. The two options being studied are a 4km “direct” line that will see 2km of the tunnel run under the nature reserve, and a 9km “skirting” option that goes around the reserve along Lornie Road.