Makeover for 2 river projects in the East of Singapore unveiled

Faris Mokhtar Channel NewsAsia 22 Mar 15;

SINGAPORE: Residents in the eastern part of Singapore can now enjoy more recreational spaces along two rivers which have received a makeover.

New lookout decks, more seating areas and upgraded footpaths are some of the features that can be found at both Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines, located between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3. The river projects were officially opened on Sunday (Mar 22) by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also an MP at Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Other features along the two rivers include rain gardens which retain and treat rainwater runoff. They are also equipped with a subsoil pipe system to channel the filtered water into the river.

Residents whom Channel NewsAsia spoke with said the new facilities will benefit the community.

"I think more people will come, have fun and sit down. It brings the community together," said Mr Muhd Faris Nordin, a resident of Pasir Ris.

"There's more greenery now along the river compared to a few years ago," added Ms Tong Siew Hwa, who also lives in Pasir Ris. "I can see the aunties and uncles sitting at the sheltered sitting areas, and some bring their dogs down for a stroll."

Upgrading works for the two rivers started in 2013. The Public Utilities Board (PUB) said care was also taken during construction to minimise the impact to existing mangroves at Sungei Api Api - construction work for the lookout decks were confined to the embankment.

Mr Teo urged residents to also play their part in keeping the environment clean, "so that we can enjoy our rivers, waterways, as we continue to improve our living environment and improve community bonding in Pasir Ris," he said.

The makeover is part of PUB's ABC Waters Programme which was launched in 2006. It aims to integrate Singapore's canals and reservoirs with the surrounding environment to create water parks and community spaces for the public.

As of now, 27 projects under the programme have been completed, while more than 100 potential locations have been earmarked for improvements by 2030.

- CNA/es

Two revitalised rivers in east Singapore open
XUE JIANYUE Today Online 22 Mar 15;
SINGAPORE — Two revitalised rivers at east Singapore, Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines, were officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean this morning (March 22) as part of World Water Day.

The rivers, enhanced under the PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme, was rejuvenated in a way that preserves their original environment and natural rustic charm.

As part of the programme, the PUB aimed to bring the community closer to the water edge. An environment that “blends seamlessly” with existing lush mangroves and vegetation has been created at a 900-metre section of Sungei Api Api between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, said the PUB.

There are also enhanced footpaths, new lookout decks, shelters and seating.

At a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, new lookout decks, a community plaza, and footpaths were added to bring residents nearer to the river.

Care was also taken during construction to minimise the impact to existing mangroves at Sungei Api Api, said PUB. For example, construction works for the lookout decks were confined to the embarkment to avoid affecting the surrounding mangroves.

To showcase the role that specially selected plants and soil can play in cleaning rainwater runoff, a rain garden was incorporated at the promenade along Sungei Api Api while two such gardens are also included along Sungei Tampines.

Two eastern rivers get fresh look, cleaner waters
XUE JIANYUE Today Online 23 Mar 15;

SINGAPORE — Two revitalised rivers in eastern Singapore, Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines, were officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday (March 22) as part of World Water Day.

Given a new lease of life under the PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme, designers had rejuvenated the two rivers in a way that would bring the community closer to the water’s edge, while at the same time preserving the area’s original environment and natural rustic charm.

At Sungei Api Api, a 900m section between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3 was enhanced with better footpaths, new lookout decks, shelters and seating — all designed to blend “seamlessly” with the existing lush mangroves and vegetation, said PUB, which has been running the ABC Waters programme since 2006.

For Sungei Tampines, a 1.1km stretch of the river between Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3 has been given new lookout decks, a community plaza and footpaths.

Care was also taken during construction to minimise the impact to existing mangroves at Sungei Api Api, said PUB. For example, construction works for the lookout decks were confined to the embankment to avoid affecting the surrounding mangroves.

Features to filter rainwater runoff are another major addition. At a promenade along Sungei Api Api, PUB incorporated a cleansing biotope — which uses highly porous material such as lava stone to remove sediments — and a rain garden, made up of specially selected plants to help filter the runoff.

Twelve ceramic art pieces crafted by Elias Park Primary School students, featuring flora and fauna such as the giant mudskipper and the atlas moth, were also featured along Sungei Api Api.

In a speech at the opening ceremony yesterday, Mr Teo said: “Our residents can enjoy the refreshed waterscaping and landscaping work that was first done in the 1990s.”

He added that he was glad PUB has preserved the original rustic “kampung-style” charm of the mangrove environment while refreshing the rivers and bringing residents and nature-lovers closer to the water’s edge.

Sungei Tampines is visibly cleaner than before, according to residents TODAY spoke to. “It definitely looks nicer now. At least the river is not stinky. A few years back, it used to be quite dirty,” said Tampines resident Melvin Ang. However, the river water deeper inland is brownish and still not clean, said the 45-year-old.

Another resident, IT professional Tang Hai Tao, felt there was some improvement in the past two years.

“The seawater at the river mouth used to be quite dirty. Sometimes there were pieces of rubbish. Sometimes the water colour doesn’t look good,” said the 28-year-old, who occasionally jogs along the Pasir Ris coast.

Today, the water is cleaner but the filters can still be further improved, said Mr Tang.

Other ABC Waters projects opening this year include Siglap Canal near Telok Kurau Primary School and Kembangan Community Centre, a stretch of the Kallang River at Potong Pasir, and another stretch of the same river at Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

New green spots to roam in the east
Feng Zengkun My Paper AsiaOne 23 Mar 15;

Singaporeans can now enjoy a beautiful view of foliage and clear flowing water along two rivers in Pasir Ris and Tampines.

A 900m stretch of Sungei Api Api between the Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3 has been turned into a vibrant green corridor, with more plants along the water's edge and canal walls, as well as wider footpaths, shelters, lookout decks and seats.

At a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines, also between the expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, new decks and a community plaza will bring people closer to the river.

National water agency PUB opened its two latest Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters projects yesterday, a rejuvenation initiative to turn Singapore's drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful areas that are integrated with surrounding parks and spaces.

As of last month, 27 projects have been completed under the ABC programme, which started in 2006.

Six more are slated to start this year, including one at the Bukit Batok Canal that began in January.

In the projects which opened yesterday, rain gardens and a cleansing biotope - a collection of plants and materials like soil and rocks - were created along the waterways to show how plants and soil can be used to treat rainwater.

The rain gardens use plants like Leucophyllum Frutescens (Texas ranger) and Loropetalum Chinense Var Rubrum (Chinese fringe-flower), three layers of soil and a pipe system to filter rainwater and channel it to the river.

The cleansing biotope uses highly porous materials like lava stone and hardy plants to remove sediments and some nutrients naturally from the rainwater.

Two mangrove sculptures were also erected at the entrance of Pasir Ris Drive 1 to represent the mangrove trees along Sungei Api Api. PUB minimised the impact of the lookout decks' construction on the mangroves by confining it to the canal's embankment.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour at the opening, said he hoped residents will enjoy the two waterways' transformation and improved facilities. "Let us all also play our part to keep the environment and waterways clean by not littering," said Mr Teo, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Pasir Ris resident Chiang Lan Eng said Sungei Tampines was pleasant in the past, but the makeover has made it even better. The 73-year-old retiree said: "While doing my daily exercise, I can relax by the river and take in the clean and beautiful view."

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