Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Safe and clean environment vital for a healthy living in HDB flats : An open letter to the Singapore Government

Almost 90 percent of our people living in Singapore and they include foreigners and permanent residents live in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Living in high rise flats poses challenges as not everyone abide by the rules by the HDB and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Unsafe environment

It has been a daunting task for me to get the HDB and the town council to resolve the endless water dripping from my upstairs neighbour. On so many occasions, I had to raise to the HDB office in my estate, the persistent water dripping coming from the upstairs neighbour which not only is so noisy that it disrupts my sleep the whole night, but will also cause the constant water dripping to put my windows and air condition at high risk of being eroded and will sooner or later collapse, endangering the lives of those below my block.

Each time I bring this to the attention of the HDB, the HDB officer will caution the owner, then it will stop, and then after a few months, later the same problem will start all over again.
The HDB will not hesitate to charge residents with killer litter, but when responsible citizens maintain their windows, grills and aircondition in good order, why are we not getting the assistance to resolve this issue – once and for all.

Last Friday night, 10th June 2016 from 11pm to 8am, the water dripping continued without a thought for the neighbours who need peace and quiet and a safe environment.  

Dirty environment
Besides having a safe environment, residents must also be able to live in a clean environment. Whenever fogging of the rubbish chutes in HDB blocks are carried out, the cockroaches will crawl out from the chutes and the insects which will spread germs are allowed to remain on the floors and walls of void decks, some big ones and they make their way back into the homes of residents and even child care centres. Then what is the purpose of fogging? Shouldn’t the cleaners be on hand to immediately remove the cockroaches before they escape into homes?

I have taken pains to raise this perennial problem to both the Ministry of National Development and the Environment Ministry recently, but no action has been taken.

Noisy environment
Every week, grass cutting is carried out in front and behind my block. While this is a good measure to keep the estate clean and free from mosquito and rodent breeding, the unbearable noise from the leaf blowers that are put to full blast can cause ear and heart problems. I have raised this matter to the Environment Ministry and even in the mainstream newspapers, but this perennial problem is allowed to take place every week.

 What is the point of the Government asking for feedback when genuine issues raised get ignored?  What is the point of the Ministry of Health repeatedly advising our citizens that they must be responsible for their own health , when the environment does not support healthy living? 

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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