Kekek Quarry Today.
Photo taken at Kekek Quarry, or tianci, in 2005.
Kekek Quarry Tomorrow.
Photo of Aik Hwa Quarry, the last quarry to close on Ubin in 1999.
Old Ubin Quarry May Be Up And Running
Loh Chee Kong
10 April 2007
Jolted first by Indonesia's ban on sand exports and then the disruption of its granite supply, Singapore is taking more steps to ensure it will not be caught off guard again.
The Housing and Development Board, which owns the disused Kekek Quarry on Pulau Ubin, is looking into resuming mining at the site, Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu said.
It will not be a major supply source but the move will pave the way for other local granite sources to be tapped, should the need arise.
Said Ms Fu: "It is necessary to carry out some quarrying to understand the issues involved in reactivating quarries."
There are five disused granite quarry sites on Pulau Ubin. Bukit Timah Hill and Gali Batu were also sources of granite during Singapore's early development.
Nature-lovers who Today spoke to were concerned about the potential disruption to the rustic island. Said Mr Ben Lee, 45, who heads Nature Trekkers: "The natural surroundings, especially the eco-system, will be affected."
Ms Fu said the Ministry of National Development was "very mindful" of conservation and safety issues. The Kekek site was chosen for its distance from residential areas and proximity to sea transport, minimising "disruption to life on the island".
During blasting, warning sirens will be sounded and the area will be cordoned off. Blasting activities, she added, will not take place over the weekend or at night so as to preserve Pulau Ubin as a leisure getaway.
According to the National Parks Board, there will be "minimal impact" on the quarry's biodiversity. At the end of the mining exercise, efforts will be made to rehabilitate the quarry site, said Ms Fu.
Giving an update on the granite vessels being detained by Indonesia, Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo said investigations by the authorities there found seven of the 22 tugboats and barges were in violation of the land sand ban. Three Singaporean barge owners may be prosecuted in the Indonesian courts.
He said: "It is good that the matter is now transparent. If charges are pressed, they will defend themselves and the matter should be properly resolved in this way, according to the laws of Indonesia."
Habitatnews provided a satellite image of the quarry while Sivasothi provides insights or perhaps a forewarning of Singapore's resource consumption.
"So isn't it now finally time to consider tightening our belts? And start behaving as if resources are finite. And investing more in developing alternatives ahead of time?"Related Reads:
Background Information on Ubin Quarries