'It can get a bit scary': Residents raise concerns about frequent mudslides at Bukit Batok Nature Park

A Hillview Avenue resident looking at the pile of fallen debris at Bukit Batok Nature Park's quarry cliff on Nov 5, 2021.
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Kevin Lim

SINGAPORE - Concerns about safety have emerged after frequent mudslides off the face of a cliff at Bukit Batok Nature Park were spotted by park-goers and residents in the vicinity.

A regular at the park, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tin, said he has observed mud falling down the cliff for close to two months in his twice-daily visits there.

"Mud has piled up ever since," said the 75-year-old retired engineering manager.

"I can even hear the sound at night from where I live," said the resident of a condominium in Hillview Avenue located about 600m away.

"It can get a bit scary if a bigger chunk of mud comes down," he added, noting that some large boulders and trees growing on the cliff had also been dislodged.

Mr Tin added that a smaller mudslide, which has since stopped, also occurred about two to three months ago at a nearby slope, closer to one of the transmitting towers of Bukit Batok Transmitting Station. "I'm worried that the mudslides will affect the tower."

When The Straits Times visited the park at around 11.30am on Friday (Nov 5), there was a pile of sand-coloured mud at the foot of the cliff, which used to be part of a quarry.

Large boulders and tree branches were embedded within the pile.

Chunks of mud would intermittently break off the cliff, falling onto the pile below with a loud crack that reverberated throughout the quarry.

Mr Eric Tan, who was cycling in the park on Friday on his daily visit, also said the mudslide started around September.

"Big chunks came down initially, then smaller bits of debris more recently," said Mr Tan, who in his 50s.


He noted that the cliff used to be pristine, with trees still growing on it.

Other park-goers, however, felt the debris posed no immediate danger.

Educator Angeline Ho, 30, said that, compared with the situation on Friday, the slope was "quite intact" on her last visit to the park in July.

She said that she was elsewhere in the park when she heard a loud sound at around 11.15am.

The avid birdwatcher, who lives in nearby Bukit Batok, also said she felt that intervention would be necessary only if the mudslides posed a risk to human life.

"I think this (erosion) is part of nature, so we should just let it be as it's not in the path where human beings normally walk."

ST has contacted the National Parks Board to ask if the mudslides pose any immediate danger to park-goers or to the structural integrity of the transmitting station, as well as if it will take any action in response.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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