Serangoon Gardens dorm may begin operations in August

The foreign workers’ dormitory in Serangoon Gardens could begin operations in August, says the area’s MP, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua.

Last September, the proposal to have a foreign workers’ dormitory built in Serangoon Gardens resulted in a heated debate and protest from the residents.

A website was set up to inform residents on the dorm’s progress.

In a letter that was put up on the website, Mrs Lim, who is also the Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) had provided her with a timetable of how the dorm will be built over the next few months.

She said the tender for the dorm operator had closed, and the award will likely be made by early March.

But 938LIVE found out that before the successful bidder can begin work on the dormitory, 14 conditions must be fulfilled.

A working committee representing some 1,500 households in the estate was set up to gather feedback from the residents and work with MND. The committee was divided into four subgroups, focusing on traffic, security, environment and engagement with MND.

Chairman of the committee, John Leow, said the dorm will only materialise if all the conditions are met.

He said: “We have actually set it up for MND when they sent out the tender documents, and it’s all been stated in the tender documents – everything which we’ve requested. So obviously, before the contract can be signed, we will ensure that all these conditions are laid out, and we will not accept otherwise.”

Mr Leow said the conditions range from safety requirements to ensuring that traffic jams do not become a problem.

When asked if residents still objected to having the dormitory in their midst, Mr Leow said that as long as the conditions are met, the residents will be appeased.

“I think it’s ok, they’ve accepted it. The only thing now (is) they hope that we will do a good job representing them,” he said.

Work on the access road linking the dorm and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 has also begun and will likely be completed by the end of July.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 19 Feb 2009

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