Wednesday, July 15, 2009

October opening for Serangoon Gardens dorm

THE controversial workers' dormitory at Serangoon Gardens has been given the green light to open in October.

An update on the Aljunied GRC website said that Maxi Consultancy has been appointed the dormitory operator and will start retrofitting the former technical school from next month.

A letter addressed to the area's residents stated that work will be carried out between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week. But the dorm operator has given the assurance that work after 7pm will be relatively quiet.

More than a 1,000 residents signed a petition against the dorm last year when they got wind of the Government's plan to build it in the neighbourhood.

The petition was handed to National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan last September.

The key concerns residents raised included increased traffic congestion, security and safety, as well as competition for the use of common facilities such as parks and bus stops.

Wanting to ease the residents' worries, changes were later made to the development plans.
These include: limiting access to the dormitory via one gate and a new access road, hiring security guards to patrol the site as well as pushing back the site boundary to create a buffer between the dorm and the housing estate.

Maxi will provide a range of facilities, such as a mini- mart and canteen, to minimise the need for the workers to access amenities outside the dormitory.

The operator also plans to provide shuttle buses to transport the workers to MRT stations during weekends and public holidays.

The capacity of the dormitory remains at 600 for the first year, and any increase in capacity beyond this, after the first year, is subject to the approval of the Ministry of National Development.

The dormitory will cater to both male and female occupants from the manufacturing and services sectors only.

The letter said that many of the workers living in the dormitory will probably come from the hospitality and health-care sectors and they may include Chinese nationals, Malaysians and Filipinos.

Source: Straits Times, 15 July 2009

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