Monday, April 03, 2006

River Valley Swimming Complex - Tadpoles, dead bird found in disused pool,4136,104355-1143928740,00.html?

River Valley Swimming Complex
Tadpoles, dead bird found in disused pool
FOR some, the old River Valley Swimming Complex holds good memories.
By Nicole Na
01 April 2006
FOR some, the old River Valley Swimming Complex holds good memories.
That may vanish if they see the state it is in now.
Three years after the complex was closed to the public in April 2003, it resembles a pond.
The New Paper visited it on 20 Mar.
Large drifts of dead leaves were seen floating on the murky water with moss and algae growing on its sides.
Worse, a decomposing bird was found among layers of dead leaves inside the pool.
The children's pool was in a slightly better condition as it was drier, but there were tadpoles in the muddy water.
Has it become a dengue hot-spot?
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which took over the complex in May 2003, said that they have been fogging the complex regularly.
Those who used to use the pool regularly were disappointed to hear about its poor state.
Said Mr Koh Horne Kuan, 48, a telemarketing manager: 'I used to frequent the pool when I was younger, to de-stress after work. The fact that the pool is now so dirty upsets me.'
Said Miss Tan Mia Joo, 36, a film producer: 'I'm quite sad that it ended up this way. The leaves and dead bird are understandable, as they could happen within a few days.
'But the algae? That must have taken a few weeks or even months.'
Added Miss Tan: 'It's quite strange as Singapore is normally very efficient. When something closes down, another building will usually take its place.'
Miss Christine Lim, 30, a corporate communications assistant manager, suggested: 'Instead of closing the pool down, it should have been upgraded so that people would go back there.'
But its future appears to be in limbo.
Last year, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) unveiled plans to lease a number of unused swimming pools, but this was not among them.
The complex earlier belonged to the SSC.
According to an SLA spokesman, it cannot tender the site for rental as it is being studied for redevelopment by other agencies, such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks).
Both the URA and NParks told The New Paper that at the moment, there are no concrete plans for its redevelopment.
In the interim, it is occasionally used as a location for film shoots and corporate events.
After SLA took over, it has been maintaining the site, which includes 'pruning trees and sweeping away litter and debris' every fortnight.
The SLA also said that rain water which has collected in the pool is pumped out once every three months.
The SLA spokesman said: 'The last time the pool was drained prior to 20 Mar was in mid-December 2005.
'In light of the dengue outbreak late last year, SLA has also upped the frequency of fogging and oiling the pool from two to four times a month.
'The pool is also frequently checked by the National Environment Agency to ensure that the water is free of mosquito breeding.'
Caretaker Liam Peng Fock, 67, claims that he has not fallen sick in the six months that he has been working there.
As for the dead bird, SLA removed it the next day.
Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.


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