Wednesday, July 4, 2007

HDB dwellers can only sigh

More greenery could enhance the view

Letter from Serena Low

RECENTLY, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan announced plans to develop the Marina Bay area to include high-end residences boasting great landscaping and views of Marina Bay.

No doubt, the area is meant to be on par with exclusive residential areas in cities such as London and New York that overlook Hyde Park and Central Park respectively.

Looking at the artists' impressions of the area slated for development, one can't help but sigh with longing as these residences with wonderful views are likely to be affordable only to those with deep pockets.

Even Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats that boast panoramic views don't come cheap, as the recent sale of a $720,000 unit would attest.

For the majority of Singaporeans, who are your average HDB dwellers, the views we get are usually those of the road, bus-stop, car park or blocks of flats.

While views of the Marina Bay or Botanic Gardens are out of reach for most of us, I hope that the Urban Redevelopment Authority and HDB could do more to improve the landscaping around HDB blocks.

While there has been upgrading of lifts and playgrounds, parks and park connectors, I believe more can be done to spruce up the surroundings, such as having more greenery.

Also, is it possible for HDB to give an update on repainting works? I recall that all HDB blocks are supposed to receive a new coat of paint every five years. If so, a painting job for the block I live in, as well as those in the vicinity, is long overdue.