Thursday, June 07, 2007

PUB/Boon Lay Drive - TNP (6June07) - 100m of drain found clogged in dengue hotspot. PUB slaps maintenance contractor with demerit points

  • "Name And Shame" culprits breeding mosquitoes?

  • To: NEA
    cc: REACH

    7 June 2007

    I believe Ms Kaur has been highlighting this stretch of drain since months
    ago but the situation does not seem to have improved, despite the heightened
    dengue risk in recent months.

    Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 08:00:04 -0800 (PST)
    From: Swarni Kaur <>Subject: drains near parc vista and boon lay driveTo: YAP_KHENG_GUAN@PUB.GOV.SG,,,,,
    see photo of choked drains outside parc vista condo and boon lay drive.
    these photo are taken on 7th Jan.

    100m of drain found clogged in dengue hotspot. PUB slaps maintenance contractor with demerit points
    DENGUE cases are on the rise, and we have to stop the mozzies from breeding.
    By Teh Jen Lee
    06 June 2007
    DENGUE cases are on the rise, and we have to stop the mozzies from breeding.
    But last week, the drains along Boon Lay Drive were clogged and full of stagnant water.
    When The New Paper went down to investigate, we found at least 100 metres of the drain along one side of the road blocked with sand, leaves and trash. There was some clogging of the drain on the other side too.
    No mosquito larva could be seen, though the water was murky.
    It was obvious from the stagnant water and rotting waste that the drains had not been cleared for a long time.
    Local residents were jittery. Especially as there is an active dengue cluster in the area, with cases reported in five blocks along Boon Lay Drive.
    Pointing at the clogged drain, housewife Lim Lay Hwa, 43, said in Mandarin: 'It's definitely possible for mosquitoes to breed in the water. I've heard of seven cases of dengue in this neighbourhood.'
    She was worried about her three children aged 2 to 9, getting dengue.
    She noted that the drains used to be better kept. 'Maybe it's because some blocks of flats around here have become empty recently when people moved out,' she said.
    Said Madam Rosnah Mahad, 42, a housewife cycling past the clogged drains: 'Of course I am concerned. The authorities should clean it up.'
    Another resident, who gave his name only as John, said: 'It seems like this area has been neglected. My mother almost died from dengue 10 years ago. I know how scary it can be. I really hope something is done.'
    He said the area is home to many foreign students and workers, and more should be done to educate them on the dangers of the disease.
    Ministry of Health figures have shown that roughly 30 per cent of dengue cases here involve foreigners.
    The National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) are jointly responsible for ensuring that drains do not become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
    In reply to our queries, Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's director for catchment and waterways, said its contractors are engaged under a performance-based contract to maintain the drains.
    This rewards good performance and penalises shoddy work.
    'Under this system, the contractors will have to clean as often as it is needed to keep the drains clean and litter-free, and they will be paid more if more cleaning is needed. However, if they fail to keep the drains clean, they will be penalised,' he said.
    'The contractor in charge of Boon Lay Drive and Boon Lay Avenue failed to meet the standards and has been given demerit points, which will affect future performance evaluations.'
    He added that the clogged drains have since been cleared.
    'PUB welcomes all public feedback. All feedback received will help to strengthen our system, especially as Singapore has more than 7,000 km of drains and canals. The public can contact us at our 24-hour call centre PUB-One at 1800-2846600,' Mr Tan said.
    A spokesman for NEA said it will apply granular insecticide to prevent mosquito-breeding whenever it comes across water stagnation in drains.
    As for educating foreign workers on dengue, NEA has developed and distributed anti-dengue materials in English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Bengali, Burmese, Thai, Tagalog and Sinhalese.
    The number of dengue cases reported between 20 and 26 May is 259.
    Weekly figures are released every Tuesday. The number of cases for the week of 27 May to 2 Jun will be released at noon today.


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