Friday, February 19, 2010

Growth at what cost ?

No one is arguing that Singapore needs economic growth, but we are asking for sustainable growth. We do not want 'growth at all cost', which affects the quality of life of the citizens.

The heavy price tag of environmental, social and infrastructural....problems would surface years later with lasting damaging effects. In fact the negative impact of a number of issues have already been felt in recent years.

There is always 2 sides to every coin. Depending on the policy path, the virtues will be expounded while the vices side swept. So currently we are hearing about all the great benefits the IRs could bring to S'pore, while just years back we only heard about all the vices of having casinos at our doorsteps.

It is the same whenever there is a change in direction of government policy, the virtues and vices will be expounded or side swept accordingly.

Perhaps MM Lee and his cabinet could try to take the public transport during the weekdays peak hours and even over the weekend, to experience first hand what it is like. They need a reality check at ground level in order for them to realise that at this rate of growth, even our basic transport infrastructure could not support the large population.

It used to be that MRT passengers at Tampines (2nd station) could not get a seat in the train. Now folks at the 1st station in the East - Pasir Ris, too find they could not get a seat. It it common nowadays for passengers not being able to get on board the train at City Hall even during off peak hours. There is a limit where the train frequent could be increased without compromising on safety.

Similarly for public buses, some bus services are 'packed to the brim' even at the bus interchange (starting point), that they are unable to pick up anymore passengers at the bus stops on their route ! The number and frequency of buses cannot be increase without impacting the overall traffic flow condition. This is because buses traveling speed is slower and occupy more road space.

Get down to the ground level, feel and experience for yourself before implementing policies which affect the masses.

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