2 years ago, there was a construction project going on just a few metres away from my backyard. For two and a half years, my family and neighbours had to endure the constant noise and air pollution. Our houses were always dusty from all that construction.
The workers worked from early morning until late at night and even on public holidays. We couldn't rest after returning from work. Our children had to stay away from our homes until nightfall as they couldn't concentrate on their studies with all that noise.We sent many complaint letters to the authorities and they just gave 'cut and paste' replies.
Finally, fed-up of all the ding-doinging and the construction workers who started retaliating by creating more noise, I gathered all the affected residents together and demanded that the relevant authorities (NEA. URA, BCA) and representatives of the construction project come for a dialogue session.
I wrote to Members of Parliament, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, REACH forum and even our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. That got NEA scrambling to get its act together. The night before the dialogue session, as I was going around to remind each household in my estate to come for the meeting the next day, I saw the Chief Engineer of NEA and his assistant going round the estate too.
At the dialogue session, affected residents were finally able to voice their frustrations to the relevant authorities. We finally got NEA to agree to monitor the construction project and to ensure they did not cause more inconvenience to the residents. We also got the construction company to patch up cracks due to the ongoing construction and also do some painting.
The affected residents of St Patrick's estate did it without our MPs despite having two of them serving us. They were nowhere to be found when we were grappling with these problems. We solved our own problems.
I hope there can be more of such useful dialogue sessions between residents and the relevant authorities on problems in the community. Residents should unite themselves to solve problems more efficiently and productively.
First Commenter -