WORK to transform the Punggol River into a scenic reservoir park, complete with a man-made island, got off the ground yesterday.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was at the official opening of the adjoining Anchorvale Community Club in Sengkang, symbolically released the first piece of the floating island - a clump of soil and grass - into the water.
For its design, the $7.13 million project will draw inspiration from a nearby fruit park being developed by the National Parks Board. Its pavilions will be shaped like mangosteens and its benches, like limes.
Work will be completed by 2010.
Punggol River is the first of five sites to be improved this year under the Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme.
Launched by national water agency PUB in 2006, the $200 million programme is an ambitious island-wide revamp of 28 waterways.
The aim is to rejuvenate Singapore's drainage and water-supply infrastructure, including the canals and reservoirs, and turn it into a scenic network of streams, rivers and lakes where people can enjoy water activities and even commute.
Giving a preview of the projects during the Budget debate a fortnight ago, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said, for example, that the Lower Seletar Reservoir would sport a heritage bridge, featuring story panels which will tell of the area's kampung history.
Work on the pilot projects of Kolam Ayer and the Bedok and MacRitchie reservoirs is in its final phases and will be unveiled this year.
'With these projects, we hope to bring waterfront living to the heartland, improve the quality of our living environment and enhance property values,' said Dr Yaacob.
1 Landscape design contest for Punggol waterway
2 Announcing Punggol Waterway Competition Results
3 Punggol Waterfront Housing Design Competition
4 Punggol Waterway Shapes Up
5 Works to begin on Punggol Waterway