19 March 2012
LTA finalises alignment of new road across Bukit Brown
Fewer graves affected than earlier estimated; More time for next-of-kin to register claims; Preliminary documentation for affected graves completed
Following the completion of topography studies and grave identification works, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has finalised the alignment of the new road across part of Bukit Brown Cemetery. LTA has designed a road alignment that minimises land take in the area and impact to the existing terrain and surrounding environment.
The new road, which was announced in September 2011, will alleviate the congestion currently experienced along Lornie Road and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) during peak hours and cater to expected growth in traffic demand.
Given the undulating topography of the area, which has several hillocks, a section of the road has been designed as a vehicular bridge over the existing creeks. Under the bridge, eco-linkage can be maintained and wildlife in the area can continue to traverse between both sides of the road. The bridge section between the hill-locks and across the existing streams will minimise the impact on the hydrology of the area. Please refer to Annex A for the alignment of the new road.
Construction of the new road will begin from early 2013 and is expected to complete by 2016. While construction is ongoing, members of the public can still continue to enter the other portions of the Bukit Brown cemetery that are not affected by the road construction.
A total of 3,746 graves out of the more than 100,000 graves currently sited at Bukit Brown cemetery will be affected by the construction of the new dual-four lane road1 , lower than the earlier estimation of 5,000 graves. The full list of affected graves will be published in the newspapers. The list is also available on the LTA home page. Next-of-kin of affected graves can register their claims for the affected graves with LTA. Registration can be done by post, fax, online, or in person.
For more details, please refer to the following URL -http://www.lta.gov.sg/content/lta/en/projects/exhumation.html.
The affected graves can be exhumed under private arrangement by next-of-kin or under public arrangement by LTA. Public exhumation will begin from early 2013 onwards so that the next-of-kin of affected graves have more time to register their claims.
Commemorating Heritage Found in Bukit Brown
Civilian graves are the responsibilities of families, with burial arrangement a private matter of the families of the deceased. Internationally, few graves are preserved by the state and require archaeological value and major national significance (e.g. tombs of national leaders) to be considered.
However, given that elements of Bukit Brown have heritage value, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and LTA had commissioned the documentation of graves that may be affected by the new road. Dr Hui Yew-Foong2 leads these efforts, together with his team of researchers, field workers and volunteers, under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee. The preliminary documentation of affected graves was completed earlier this month, and Dr Hui’s team will continue to document the family histories, stories, and memories associated with the cemetery, as well as the rituals carried out during the Qingming festival and exhumation of graves.
The Government is committed to commemorate our pioneers and document historical memories. The National Heritage Board (NHB) has featured the efforts of notable pioneers in: our national museums, various travelling exhibitions, marked historical sites, community heritage trails and heritage institutions such as the Malay Heritage Centre and upcoming Indian Heritage Centre. Supplementing such narratives is the National Archives, which provides documentation in the form of oral history and other archival materials. Together with commemorative namings (e.g., Joo Chiat district, Hong Lim Park), these are effective avenues to educate the public on our nation’s history, with wide impact and reach. The URA and the NHB will work with relevant agencies and stakeholders on further efforts to commemorate heritage elements found in Bukit Brown.
Jointly issued by LTA/NHB/URA
- Part of Seh Ong Cemetery will also be affected for exhumation
- A Working Committee, led by Dr Hui Yew-Foong, Fellow and Coordinator of the Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, is carrying out the documentation work for the graves affected by the new road at Bukit Brown cemetery. A team of researchers and fieldworkers have been recruited to document i) the graves, ii) the history, memory and rituals, and iii) the exhumations.