LTA has written to the media (Today Paper on 22 Feb 16) to say that "Govt studying route impact, has not made decision yet". Reading what LTA Chief Executive, Chew has written, the conclusion is clear to us who are familiar with govt double talk, - it has already made its decision. It is just waiting for the ground assessment result before making the announcement that CRL will cut beneath our nature reserve.
LTA Chew kept silent on the negative impact of cutting across the nature reserve, but highlight all the negative impacts should it run along the alternate route - saying it would cost $2 billion more, involve home acquisition which would affect families...etc
Even doing ground investigation has environment impact - that is why they reduce the the number of bore holes. What more tunneling beneath the nature reserve. According to the environment impact assessment done - the impact is serious as it is in the 2nd highest adverse category which is term 'moderate'. This is what govt has been telling us - 'moderate' - so that those who are not familiar with the environment assessment stuff will think it is 'mild'.
Ultimately it is only cost that matters to the govt. Yes, $2 billion may sound like a lot, but Temasek and GIC lost much more than this. Why is our govt silent on their losses - while the concern about the amount which will save our last remaining patch of nature reserve. We can't put a price tag on nature which benefit is intangible and damage is irreversible.
Besides, since when has the govt been sensitive to re-homing residents? They have been doing it for decades - acquiring lands dirty cheap in the past till they are now the biggest landlord of S'pore.
Have they shown compassion when they announced that the 4 blocks of HDB flats at Rochor Center will be torn down to make way for infrastructure development? Residents in those 4 blocks are mainly from lower income with high percentage of senior folks.
The difference is govt dictate the cost of acquisition in Rochor Center, but the acquisition area for CRL are private residential housing, so they can't get them cheap.
So $$$ is all our govt cares about. All the other justifications are just excuse. They are short sighted and irresponsible.