Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Singapore-Malaysia KTM Tanjong Pagar land swap

Singapore-Malaysia agreed on May 24, 2010 to move the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) station at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to a centralised co-located one in Woodlands. Subsequent meetings between the two leaders, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak agreed on a land swop deal as well as joint development of the land parcels identified in the swop.
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

What has this deals got to do with nature? Plenty actually!

I read with interest the The Strait Times news dated 20 Sept 2010  that part of this co-operation includes cross-border eco-tourism plans  between Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Singapore side with 3 Ramsar sites of Sungai Pulai, Pulau Kukup and Tanjung Piai at Johor. That i hope ends up as a viable and sustainable call for action to preserve large swats of coastal, marsh and mangrove land for migratory birds, the dugongs as well as the eco-system that sustains it.

Another is the railway land itself. It is said that the combined length of this railway land is estimated to be 40 km and taking up 80 hectares of land that starts from Tanjong Pagor, cuts across the fringes of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve before reaching Kranji and Woodlands.

Nature Society, Singapore is looking to build up a case and movement to preserve this railway land as a permanent green corridor similar to a nature park or a well connected park connector. This proposal is now available online.  (link launches a pdf).

I like the ideas drawn out and i do hope the relevant agencies are able to come together to come up with a win-win plan for all. After reading the report, i was pretty amazed by the number of places that is seemingly "preserved" as a result of the existing railway lands.

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