Jalan Besar GRC to receive $460m facelift over five years

One of the oldest wards here will be getting a $460 million facelift over five years to give it a fresher look.

Facilities like artistic landscaping, the latest street furniture, 3-Generation Wellness Parks, more covered walkways and vehicular drop-off points to improve accessibility will be added to Jalan Besar GRC.

Unveiling the plan yesterday, MP for Jalan Besar, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said: “This plan focuses on bringing more life to the GRC and to upgrade and provide better facilities for the benefit of all residents.”

Residents can also look forward to more projects under the Lift Upgrading Programme, Home Improvement Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, said Dr Yaacob, who is also Environment and Water Resources Minister.

He added the GRC aims to build a more distinct town identity by tapping on its central location and rich cultural heritage. Projects under the master plan include a cultural exchange square with story boards and an outdoor gallery to increase environment awareness.

Activities will also be organised for residents to get together. For instance, an “Integration Night” event will be held in March to promote interaction between locals and new immigrants.

Chairman of Jalan Besar Town Council, Ms Denise Phua, said: “What is more important – in the next five years – is we are able to forge a town spirit. A town spirit that is gracious as well as responsible … and really work together to make this town truly safe, green and a joy to be in.”

Over the last five years, the GRC has spent $600 million on upgrading projects and improvement works.

The master plan will be exhibited within the five divisions of Jalan Besar GRC, which is helmed by a five-member People’s Action Party team led by Dr Yaacob.

It is one of the oldest wards in Singapore with around 55 per cent of the residents being senior citizens.

Residents tell MediaCorp that they are happy there will be more community facilities like fitness parks and community gardens for the elderly.

Cleaner Jeanie Tan, who is in her 50s, said: “The environment looks good and having covered walkways are good so I don’t have to get wet when it’s raining.”

The GRC is an electoral hot spot which has been contested in the past three elections. Last year, the opposition National Solidarity Party expressed interested in contesting in the area.

Last Friday, Aljunied GRC announced its next five-year plan which includes building more childcare centres and kindergartens.

Other GRCs like East Coast, Ang Mo Kio, Marine Parade and Hong Kah will be issuing their five-year improvement proposals in the next few weeks.

Source : Today – 10 Jan 2011

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