More time for illegal ‘farmers’ at state land, Clementi Ave 4
Press Release from SLA
20 March 2012 – The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) recently received feedback from residents of Clementi Ave 4 on the frequent burning of leaves and branches on the State land near Block 305 Clementi Avenue 4which has affected the quality of air for the residents there and also poses a potential fire hazard. This State land was part of the land formerly occupied by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) which has reverted to the State.
2. Upon investigations, apart from widespread burnt patches of ground, it was also found that some individuals had not only encroached on state land for their private purposes but also fenced up parcels of land for their exclusive use, and also illegally erected makeshift sheds and an outdoor toilet. Several stagnant ponds of water which are potential mosquito breeding grounds were also found.
3. SLA placed notices advising that the unauthorised activities cease and the structures be removed by 20 Mar 2012. To-date, 13 individuals have come forward to claim responsibility for their activities.
For those who have come forward
4. Ms Sim Ann, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC has made representations on behalf of those who have come forward to SLA for more time to resolve the matter. SLA has agreed to the request and will give them 3 months from 20 March to work out an arrangement with the grassroot organizations (GROs) that is acceptable to SLA and the GROs.
For those who have not identifed themselves
5. SLA will give those who have not come forward a final deadline until 3 April to contact SLA. However, if they do not do so, SLA will have no choice but to proceed to dismantle and remove the enclosed areas and illegal structures.
6. In the interests of the residents living in the area, SLA has implemented the following public health and safety measures:
(i) Mosquito breeding at stagnant ponds
SLA has carried out vector control to prevent mosquito breeding in the stagnant ponds.
(ii) Safety signs
Signs will be put up to warn the public of potential danger such as potholes and ponds.
(iii) Burning of leaves
SLA has also posted advisory notices against illegal burning. SLA will be stepping up ground surveillance and will also work closely with the grassroots and residents to detect and report such illegal activities. Offenders may be prosecuted under the Environmental Public Health Act (Public Cleansing) Regulations.
Engaging the grassroots organisations
7. SLA would like to emphasise that State land belongs to all Singaporeans. Individuals cannot simply lay claim on State land for their private use. SLA will continue to consult the GROs on the possible interim use of the State land near Block 305 for the benefit of the wider community. At this time, SLA understands that the GROs are considering whether to take up a TOL for community purposes.