SMRT relents on demand to get condo to cut trees near tracks

SMRT relents on demand to get condo to cut trees near tracks

 

SMRT has backed down from its demand that a condominium trim its trees which the train operator says are too near to the overhead tracks.

 

The growth of the tree branches will now be monitored by the landscape contractor of Stratford Court condominium to ensure that they do not pose a safety hazard to train operations.

 

The matter will come up for review after six months. The decision was reached after a meeting attended by representatives from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the National Parks Board (NParks), SMRT and Stratford Court’s management committee (MC) last week.

 

The issue of tree pruning arose in March when SMRT asked the condominium’s MC to prune the branches of 13 khaya trees near the MRT tracks between Simei and Tanah Merah MRT stations, saying that the overgrown branches posed a safety hazard to train operations.

 

But the MC refused to foot the bill of $2,145 to prune the trees. It pointed out that the trees pre-dated the Land Transport Authority (LTA) guide quoted by SMRT which went back to 2000.

 

Under the Act, the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation – the chief operating officer of the National Parks Board (NParks) – has the right to issue an order for the condominium to prune its trees if they are obstructing MRT trains.

 

In an attempt to resolve the matter, SMRT turned to LTA – which owns the train viaducts – and NParks for help. This led to an amicable settlement.

 

Source: Straits Times

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