Contractor behind 2016 Christmas Eve flood in Thomson among 14 fined for drainage offences by PUB

Contractor behind 2016 Christmas Eve flood in Thomson among 14 fined for drainage offences by PUB

Flash flood Upper Thomson
Flash flood at Upper Thomson on Saturday (Dec 24). (Photo: Tiffany Cheng)

SINGAPORE: Fourteen contractors - including the company responsible for contributing to the Christmas Eve flood in the Thomson area last year - have been fined by national water agency PUB for various drainage offences.

Sato Kogyo was fined S$14,000, the heftiest among the 14 contractors, according to a press release by PUB on Thursday (Dec 7).

The company was found to have altered the public drainage system across Upper Thomson Road (near Lorong Mega) without PUB’s approval, as well as constructing a temporary diversion drain along Jalan Keli opposite Thomson Plaza without notifying the agency. 

These acts contributed to the flash floods that happened in the area on Dec 24, 2016, leaving businesses in the area knee-deep in flood water and with damages worth thousands of dollars.

In addition to the 14 contractors, two Qualified Persons (QP) - appointed registered architects or professional engineers responsible for selecting compliant materials and products for a building project - were penalised as well.

“With many construction projects taking place near or next to the public drainage system, it is important that contractors exercise due diligence to ensure that their works do not affect the functioning of the public drainage system. Drains must be kept free-flowing so that they can convey stormwater away quickly during heavy rain to reduce flood risks,” said Mr Ridzuan Ismail, PUB’s director of catchment and waterways.

The other contractors fined for altering and discontinuing drainage systems without approval were Choon Hoe Construction, Boon Tian Contractor, Tiong Seng Contractors and Woh Hup, Hup Seng Lee and Woh Hup. They were fined S$3,000 each.

Upp Thomson Rd flash flood Jan 19
Flash floods at Upper Thomson Road on Jan 19, 2017. (Photo: Ricky Gabriel)

According to the release, seven companies were fined between S$2,000 and S$4,000 for obstructing the drainage system without approval.

They include Shimizu Corporation, Ssangyong–Hyundai Joint Venture, Tiong Seng–Dongah Joint Venture, KH Foges, Chye Joo Construction, Lum Chang Building Contractors and Evan Lim. 

The 14th contractor fined was KJS Construction, which failed to remove the support structure in the drain after completion of the construction project at Singhealth Polyclinic, and as a result, obstructed the drain flow. It was fined S$1,500 for not carrying out work in accordance with the code of practice.

Contractors must seek PUB’s approval before carrying out any works that will interfere with the public drainage system.

Unauthorised alterations may affect the functioning of the public drainage system, as the drains, canals and rivers are interconnected.

Offenders may be fined up to S$50,000 for works affecting the public drainage system, and up to S$20,000 for unauthorised alteration of the public drainage system.

Source: CNA/kc