Monday, July 23, 2012

Diversion In The Works

It's not nice to make an old man look like a fool.  In July 2010, after touring the waterfront development at the Kallang and Kolam Ayer areas, Lee Kuan Yew had silenced detractors by proclaiming that "whatever we do when we get extraordinary rains like we had recently, no amount of engineering can prevent flooding". The Public Utilities Board (PUB) has decided to do just that, spend lots of money on an epic engineering endeavor to prevent another act of God within the next 50 years.

A 2-kilometer diversion will be constructed to relieve the flood-water load at Stamford Canal, and a 38,000 cubic meter water detention tank will be built underground near the Botanic Gardens - the free one, not the rip-off at Gardens by the Bay. The projects are part of the recommendations of a 9 month study, what PUB chief executive Chew termed "a multi-prong plan to strengthen flood resilience across Singapore." Included was a "more advanced" forecasting system and a weir to direct upstream water from Stamford Canal into the new diversion canal. The second diversion canal at Bukit Timah built in 1990 at a cost of $240 million in 1990 is 3 times as large as the proposed diversion. Even with this available as a guidance, PUB declined to commit on a number for the cost of the project undertaking.

The fellow in charge of the huge expenditure is - *palmface* - none other than the profligate Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Asked if the Stamford Canal initiative will be extended to other canals in Singapore, he gave his standard non-answer, "There's a fair amount of uncertainty because you can't predict the future." As was expected, Balakrishan declined to comment on the cost estimates, math being his Achilles heel.

What will probably happen is that he will report in parliament after the event that $XXX.XX millions were spent. Then  he will happily recall that the budget, after due consultation with and approval of the prime minister, was $XXX.XX millions, accurate to the second decimal point. That was the YOG fairy tale told at the Clementi Election Rally of GE 2011, and it got him re-elected.

42 comments:

  1. VB said SG are "always" planning for 50-100yrs. LMAO!

    Yet earlier, he claimed PUB has managed flooding very well for 40 yrs, 10 yrs short to be exact. So going by the 50-100 years pre-planning, you can discount 20yrs or more from this efficacy planning. I think the same or worse could be said for CPF and medishields, given the goalposts are always shifting. Frankly, I don't give a damn about their 100yrs projection if I am worrying about my next 10-20yrs while I'm still alive. I have no interests to make outdated decisions for my future generations when I can't even see the economic future in the next 10yrs. They can talk to my ghosts after I'm gone. All that "advance planning" is just crab talk. Get your act together while you're voted in to do the job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Housing loan is also extended to 50 years now.
      Maybe marriage vows will change to ' till 50 years do us part!
      If 50 years is the benchmark, time is up for MIW soon.

      Delete
  2. Overated Talents7/23/2012 10:53 AM

    Was reported $750m will be committed for flooding works. An international expert panel was also called in to assess the situation. One that stood up - they must collect better data. Double confirm the past million dollar PUB chiefs have been operating on wrong data..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1DUqOGMGs

    http://app.mewr.gov.sg/data/ImgCont/1524/Expert_Panel_Report_on_Drainage_Design_and_Flood_Protection_Measures.pdf

    So much for $million dollar rated civil servants, scholars and ministers. People ought to know they are not all smart and all immortal by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minor ponding also need to spend 750million huh?

      Delete
    2. //Report Conclusion 2H: Debris and litter washed down by the storm waters in the Stamford Canal might have been a contributing factor to the floods, but was unlikely to be the lead factor for the floods.//

      Hahaha..recall some drainage contractors were fined for not doing their sweeping job thoroughly. Poor scapegoats...they should demand for their money back, for the failure of the Ministry.

      Delete
    3. "Double confirm the past million dollar PUB chiefs have been operating on wrong data.."

      They would NEVER say that.
      Instead, the paper say "..as new climate data emerges".
      Yet from the panel interviews, is clear that they have been doing a bad data collection and thus carrying out stupid analysis like

      1) drainage system are choked with debris and blocked = fault of builders and contractors
      2) once in 50 years flood = fault of mother nature, totally unpredictable.

      Delete
  3. Dear Singaporeans.
    Our Millionaire Ministers got the flooding wrong; the first time around.

    What makes you think;
    After spending another $750 million dollars;
    guarantee, the flooding problem will be fixed?
    It's still the same old talented people.

    How will you vote if the problem is still not fixed?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why are singaporeans still tolerating this clown called VBala????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every court needs a jester.

      Delete
  5. The only "diversion" I'm concerned about is the 'racial riots and xenophobic' bogeyman they are invoking again (and again). Let's see - almost 50% of foreigners + tourists here and nothing is done to stop further inflow, then PM and his cabinet ought to be diverted to some place in the history book soon. If they think they are running this place for next 50yrs, they can start planning their pension now, 4 yrs to go.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can't help giving me the impression they're just unsure what's going on, but they claim to be smartest by overpaying themselves.

    Real gross mismanagement or poor investment of the country's reserves on mediocre ministers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I rather he be profligate with this very necessary flood prevention, than with trivial endeavors like YOG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But what makes you think the problem will be successfully solved?
      That the "experts" got it right this time?
      Was it not the experts who got it wrong the previous time?

      How do you know the money will be well spent?
      This is the same group of people who spent $2,000 on ONE bicycle.

      Money is not the solution.
      If shortage of money is not the problem.
      It's a management (leedership) problem.
      Not a money or engineering problem.

      Delete
    2. If you think YOG is trivial , then F1 is even more trivial.
      One is for the youths, the other for the rich and show-offs - annually.
      Which do you prefer?

      Delete
  8. Looking it in another way, they are actually spending S$750m to prove that he was indeed a fool to say what he said at that time and we must be bigger fools if we had believe everything he had to say including those half truths.

    Maybe he must have realised by now that not all of us (at least 40%) are that daft afterall and this may probably explain why of late he is trying to keep his bloody mouth shut.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 1995, deputy PUB Chief corrupted with $14m kickbacks. Must be all those sloppy drainage works done/undone that is causing all the flood problems. That's the problem with bad/crooked policy works, you don't see the damage until 10-20 years down the road. So they can cut all the BS about advance plannings.

    The best way to live is for every generation to be responsible and accountable for their own decisions. No need to think so advance like you're some kind of clairvoyant or crystal balling.

    ReplyDelete
  10. To be fair to the PUB, I think the proposed work is necessary. It is a belated recognition (better late than never) that due to global warming, rainfall intensity and/or duration has increased and what was previously an adequate design for a 1 in 50 year event according to historical rainfall data is now inadequate. Future rainfall data will probably show that what was previously a 1 in 100 year event could now be a 1 in 50 year event. However, the burden of flood mitigation should not fall on the PUB alone. The URA, PWD, HDB should also be involved and what they have impact on the volume of runoff. If our government departments have sufficient foresight, they should have anticipated all these much earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But only following humiliation and backtracking, and after public outcry against repeated incidents and sloppy excuses given.. All easily avoided, if they had done the job properly from the start.

      Agree with above poster. Every generation has to do a better and rigorous job at holding their politicians/servants accountable! They want private sector pay, they need to shoulder private sector results = accountability. Only then, can we leave move on, and leave a better place for our next generation.

      Delete
    2. Agreed, the work is necessary and should have been done long ago. Problem is, the resident flood expert in Singapore decided to learn cooking in France instead of spending time in office to evaluate the options.

      Delete
    3. It's not as simple as blaming global warming. Anyway Singapore leaves the largest carbon footprint in the world.

      The blame should go to this government's unfettered, frenzied drive for GDP growth, in the process turning this island into a concrete jungle, making partly true LKY's own proclamation that "no amount of engineering can prevent flooding".

      Delete
    4. When LKY boldly proclaimed that "no amount of engineering can prevent flooding" he was trying to divert the blame away from the Government. Of course no amount of engineering can prevent all possible occurences of flooding, but engineering can reduce the occurences of flooding to an acceptable level. The problem is that for a place like Orchard Road or the CBD, the acceptable level of flooding occurrences is zero.

      Delete
    5. What I found very unacceptable were all these "uneducated" opinions being thrown around when the floods occurred.

      "Once every 50 years"
      "No amount of engineering"
      "Floods caused by litter blocking the drains"

      They just opened their mouths
      without first investigating.

      Only now ... we have the Committee of Inquiry to investigate ....
      And how many months did it take to convene this COI?

      Delete
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