Saturday, June 30, 2012

The canal at the end of Lily Avenue

Below are two photos of the canal that separates Lucky Park, where I live, and Eden Park. This canal runs from Bukit Timah Canal to Ulu Pandan Canal, joining it at a point near the junction of Ulu Pandan Road and Clementi Road. It was probably constructed in the 1970s as part of the Bukit Timah Flood Alleviation Scheme. In those days, the Bukit Timah area often experienced floods. In fact, just last year there was a huge flood in this area causing much damage to cars parked in the basement of the Tessarina Condominium.

Taken in 1982, Photo no. 1 is from the National Library Board’s picture archives (Copyright: Lee Kip Lin and National Library Board 2009). On the left is an open piece of land. It used to be a kampong known as Race Course Village. When I moved in to my home in Lily Avenue in 1986, there were still a couple of kampong houses next to this canal. On the right is a factory belonging to Ridsect, the insecticide company. It was still there in 1986. Next to it, facing the main road, was a motorcar showroom. I think I saw Fiat and Mesarati cars on display. Wish I had taken a photo.

 Photo no. 2 was taken recently; and you can see two of the older condos that line much of this stretch of Bukit Timah Road. The one on the left is Royalville and the one on the right is Villa Azura. The narrow strip of land next to the canal is a very nice and quiet place. When my kids were young, I used to bring them here in the evenings. There are many longkang fishes in this canal; and once my children caught some tilapias and brought them home and added them to our koi pond.

My children feeding fish in our koi pond.  c 2002.

This stretch of this canal is next to Maple Lane looking towards Bukit Timah Road.

The canal disappears under some bungalows at Garlick Avenue.

It emerges near the Fong Yun Thai Columbarium at Holland Link. The canal on the right leads to Laurel Wood Avenue and Jalan Haji Alias.

This final photo shows the canal flowing towards the Sungei Ulu Pandan and the former KTM Railway Track.

Like most parts of Singapore, so much of this place has changed. And with the construction of the Downtown Line in full swing; much changes are taking place before our eyes.


Lam Chun See said...

Thanks to reader Pat, I now know more about this project and that the name of this canal is known as Bukit Timah First Diversionary Canal.

By the way, the works along Bt Timah Canal have been completed and they are now working on the diversionary canal. They have actually torn down a 1 (maybe 2) huge bungalows along Garlick Ave for this project. Very costly project.

Lam Chun See said...

Oops. That shd be Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal.

Pat said...

@ Chun See: "they are now working on the diversionary canal. They have actually torn down a 1 (maybe 2) huge bungalows along Garlick Ave for this project. Very costly project."

Oh dear, that must have been distressing to the residents of the bungalow(s). I understand that this canal-widening project is divided into 3 phases, & the 2nd contract awarded earlier this year alone costs S$99.8 million (Asiabuilders - 21 Feb 2013).

Thanks for sharing the photos of the Bukit Timah 1st Diversion Canal -- the longkang does look very narrow & shallow. No wonder it overflowed during the so-claimed "once in 50 years" flood. I suppose sufficient multiples of 50 years have passed in S'pore, such that the relevant agency decided not to wait for S'pore's climate to become less rainy for this "not big enough" diversion canal.

* Deluge a 'once in 50 years' event (ST - 23 Nov 2009)
EXCERPT: {{{ Thursday's deluge which submerged parts of Bukit Timah was a 'freak' event that occurs once in 50 years, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.

When a diversion canal from the main Bukit Timah canal burst its banks, flood waters rose knee-high, partially submerging ground-floor buildings and cars and causing untold damage. "We knew the diversion canal was not big enough to take this," the minister said about the three decade-old canal which stretches more than 3km, from Sixth Avenue to Sungei Ulu Pandan. }}}

Btw your koi pond is nicely-landscaped & feels very cosy. Is the pigeon on the slipper beside the pond a family pet ? :)

Lam Chun See said...

Yes, the pigeon was a pet that somehow joined the group of animals that my children kept; including some budgerigars, and a rooster named, Mellow.

But of course that was a long time ago. The children are grown up now.

Pat said...

Hi Chun See,

Is the quaint Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal between Bukit Timah Rd & Holland Green — or at least until 33 Holland Link (Fong Yun Thai Columbarium) — still accessible to members of the public walking on foot ?

It appears that canal-widening works for the Bt Timah-Holland Green stretch is targeted for completed only in 2016 Q2. So as based on your post's sequential photos, how much has changed since the works began ?

Are the grassy verges & adjoining forested fringes still there ? Or has everything been hoarded up, concretized & bounded by barrier-railings ?

Lam Chun See said...

The canal-widening works is in full steam now and both sides of the canal are completely boarded up. But you can still peep in at some stages and I have taken many photos. When this project is completed, I will share the photos here.