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     Volume 8 Issue 83 | August 21, 2009 |

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An Eco-friendly Survival!

Nasreen Taher

Mass Rapid Transit MRT

At the onset of my journey towards the island, I had this nostalgic vision of Trishaws plying among the traffic. But little did I anticipate that in this age of sky-high technological developments, beginning from the zenith of geneticengineering to the almost unimaginable and innumerable electronic advancements ---- trishaws have become a part of antiquity and almost showcased except for some parts of the city, where old vehicles are still used as tourist attraction.

We embarked upon the “LRT “ or “light Rail Transit”, which is a driver-less and electrically manoeuvred train in Singapore. It is controlled from respective depots and is a form of “automated people mover system”. Gliding along the smooth and elevated lines upon viaducts, the journey reminds one of the first cable-car ride which brings an enchanting effect while having an aerial view of the entire island. LRT makes one feel that the land is somewhere below while the train is gliding on a higher plane! As newcomers, we marvelled at the audio visual technology at the concourse and inside the train that announces and displays the arrival and departure of each and every station on plasma screen.

On reaching the last LRT station, the Chua Chu Kang interchange within 12 minutes , we escalated towards a connecting train called MRT (Mass Rail Transit )which also runs on electricity but because of its population en masse, is operated by human- drivers. Both these trains commute around the populated and designated areas of Singapore by the names of North-South Line, East-West Line, etc and make more than a thousand journeys on a daily basis. The island's well-managed and limited resources has this facility only on populated and designated areas; the absence is seen in places where the population is still zero. In the next 5 minutes, we disembarked at Bukit Batok station, which has one of the biggest shopping malls in town, quenching the shopaholics' thirst for sudden shopping spree!

“Bukit”means 'hill/hillocks' and from the name one can guess that the island was a hilly region not long ago; but Singaporeans love to paint a slight touch of modernity on the canvas of their century-old tradition, which enriches them culturally amidst the present world, hence the name “Bukit Batok” retains its antique profile with a sprinkle of western hi-tech modernity. On the other hand, the western world regards this oriental vision as a subtle image of aristocracy in a melting-pot culture; the two different cultural exchanges form the excellence of Asian development in Western technology.

Amazing to think that it took them only 40 years of Independence from their previous rulers to organise and display their ability. And that too, by retaining the ecological balance, to let human beings survive to appreciate the abundance of such advancements----that they are blessed with. Recently, the island's launching of a “Go Green” project has gained excessive support for discouraging all that adds to the global warming and welcoming any fruitful ideas for adding more greenery in the landscape.

Light Rapid Transport LRT

Bringing home the largest incoming revenue, Singapore-transport ranks the topmost among globally advanced technology, backed up by its encouragingly pollution-free innovative efforts. The system serves a high demand for its comprehensively efficient and “wallet-friendly” implementation by paying special tribute to the middle-income group, students and senior citizens. In a place where almost 90% of the population has to travel to their working -places , commuters become extremely vital issues and calls for optimising “hassle-free ,smooth and time-minimising” road-network system. Vigilance towards public-welfare has brought about the existence of such a covetous system. Working through a monumental effort, the island is becoming a model of complete-automation, alluring throngs of enthusiasts to make their pilgrimage in witnessing the wonders of development.

Implementation of strict disciplinary measures is simultaneously responsible for the healthy transportation system. A fine imposed on various activities like $500 for eating and drinking inside the train, $1000 if found smoking and $5000 for bringing any flammable gas are not simple advertisements --- the cc cameras make sure that these bans are taken seriously to ensure safety and public health.

“Land of Lions” SINGA (lion)and PURA (land), Singapura, in reality, is roaring its “innovative advancement” that encourages ecological balance as well, which has become a burning aspiration of the present and the next generation. Receiving high demands as intra-town travel-facilities and favoured over buses, the rail-system of Singapore implements the theory and concept of bringing people at their doorstep from working-place. Being a land-scarce island, Singapore has been extremely successful in solving the problem of traffic- congestion and has paved her way into a world class transport facility -- thus creating a paradise on earth !


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