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A touch of glass for Moulmein HDB flats

RESIDENTS of HDB flats in Cambridge and Owen Roads will be the first in Singapore to get see-through, bubble lifts like those found in hotels and shopping malls.

They will be up and running by next year, said Minister of State (Education) Lui Tuck Yew yesterday at a Chinese New Year dinner for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

These lifts are cheaper to install because they are not enclosed in a concrete shaft. They cost about 25 to 35 per cent less than that of the lifts now found in HDB blocks.

Residents in Buffalo Road in Serangoon will also have such lifts by 2010, said Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui.

The authorities had previously said that by installing shaftless lifts, they could quicken the pace of upgrading so that HDB blocks would have lifts that stop on every floor.

In all, 1,200 HDB homes in the MP’s Moulmein division will gain from lift upgrading in the next two years.

Residents strongly support the programme to improve their lifts, with 85 per cent to 100 per cent of them giving the green light in polls, RADM Lui said at the dinner attended by the GRC’s six MPs, including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Meanwhile, efforts to upgrade private estates have been less successful.

Three submissions last year to the National Development Ministry’s Estate Upgrading Programme were not selected. RADM Lui did not identify the estates.

He plans to approach the ministry’s Community Improvement Programme for funds to do minor improvements to the private estates.

He also disclosed that ‘after much deliberation and some persuasion’, the Government gave more money for the renovation of the iconic Tekka Market, at the corner of Serangoon Road and Bukit Timah Road.

The sum has been raised from $5 million to $12 million for a more thorough make- over, he added.

Beyond the physical improvements, RADM Lui also highlighted the need for more community awareness. He urged the residents to play their part in helping the needy and be more neighbourly.

One resident who is looking forward to the bubble lift is deliveryman Tan Soy Tee.

The 61-year-old lives in a three-room flat on the sixth floor of Block 46 in Owen Road. The lift does not stop on his floor but on the seventh floor.

Daily, he would have to take the flight of steps to and from his home.

He expects to pay about $760 for the lift upgrading, a sum he finds affordable: ‘I earn $1,200 a month and cannot afford it if I have to pay much more than that,’ he said in Mandarin.


Source: The Straits Times 12 Feb 08


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