|Spot the minister trying very hard to be inconspicuous|
Can you blame the Maplewoods residents for raising hell when they found out that a tunnel-boring machine will be located right smack at their condominium 's exit and entrance points? This sure beats the inane LTA decision to erect an ERP gantry outside Hume Park at Upper Bukit Timah Road, the route of access for the Hillview condominium residents heading to and from work.
Maplewoods is highly populated with 3,500 residents. Besides the noise to come, safety was prime concern, for children commuting to nearby MGS, and motorists entering and exiting the condo. LTA's lame excuse that relocating the machines to Sixth Avenue could delay the project by more than 3 years must sound like the 56-man-years quoted to produce the information requested by ex-President Ong Teng Cheong. One suspects they would rather not inconvenience the Ministers and their relatives residing closer to Sixth Avenue.
At last night's 3rd meeting to appease the Maplewoods unrest, one member said it all, "We has asked for and hoped for a complete reassessment without any preconceived notions, but all they have done really is put band aids on the core issue." Vivian Balakrishnan did not exactly inspire confidence when he finally rose to face the irate gathering, "While I'm in a position to lean on them (LTA), I cannot promise you a final outcome." But of course - he's the defacto Minister of Floods, making sure the Bukit Timah gutters don't overflow (his particular specialty in politics), not the Transport Minister. Meanwhile the LTA confidently announced that the Downtown Line 2 will be completed on time. Whinge all you want, it's their way or the highway - which also happens to be their other avenue to get back at you.