According to the LTA, site investigations to study the impact of an underground Cross Island Line show that there is wildlife present
Findings on Cross Island Line site investigations show wildlife present, says LTA A Sunda pangolin spotted near Sime Trail on a camera trap on Dec 12, 2016, before drilling works started nearby for site investigation. PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

Site investigations to study the impact of an underground Cross Island Line (CRL) have been completed, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a statement on Friday (June 8).

It added there is wildlife present in parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve where drilling for soil samples took place, based on monitoring results from cameras and ground surveys.
The photos captured by camera traps included those of endangered animals like the Sunda pangolin and the Lesser Mousedeer.
The findings were encouraging and validated the mitigation measures, said Dr Goh Kok Hun, LTA's director of civil design and land.
The investigation works, which took place between May 2016 and September last year, involved drilling 16 boreholes to extract soil samples.
They were the first steps in assessing the two CRL alignment options - going directly underneath the nature reserve or skirting round it, said LTA.
The line, first announced by the Government in 2013, had preliminary plans that showed it cutting through forests in the reserve, which raised concerns among nature groups here.
Soil investigation works at Central Catchment Nature Reserve Pt 1
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A jogger running along the Sime Track in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. LTA said they will release their findings on the environmental impact of the site investigation works in the reserve, which hosts Singapore's largest trove of wildlife.
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LTA consulted the National Parks Board (NParks) and nature groups here over three years before drilling started.
There was a comprehensive suite of mitigation measures, said LTA, such as reducing the number of boreholes required for the works, from 72 to 16.
Other measures included locating the boreholes on existing trails and clearings to minimise the impact on existing flora.
National University of Singapore biology lecturer N. Sivasothi, who has been part of the discussions LTA has had with nature groups, said the suite of measures was "about the highest amount of mitigation demonstrated by any project - maybe anywhere in the world".
He said discussions on the plan were so detailed that theyincluded specifying how an engine pump was to be operated to prevent petrol spillage.
Ms Chloe Tan, spokesman for the Love Our MacRitchie Forest volunteer group, said the presence of animals might not mean there wasno impact on the animals and there is a need to know their abundance and distribution too.
Phase Two of the study, which assesses the potential environmental impact of the future construction - including tunnelling and operations - is ongoing and is expected to be completed later this year, said LTA.
The 50km Cross Island Line will stretch from Changi to Jurong and is set to be completed in 2030.
It added there is wildlife present in parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve where drilling for soil samples took place, based on monitoring results from cameras and ground surveys.

The photos captured by camera traps included those of endangered animals like the Sunda pangolin and the Lesser Mousedeer.

The findings were encouraging and validated the mitigation measures, said Dr Goh Kok Hun, LTA's director of civil design and land.

The investigation works, which took place between May 2016 and September last year, involved drilling 16 boreholes to extract soil samples.

They were the first steps in assessing the two CRL alignment options - going directly underneath the nature reserve or skirting round it, said LTA.

The line, first announced by the Government in 2013, had preliminary plans that showed it cutting through forests in the reserve, which raised concerns among nature groups here.

LTA consulted the National Parks Board (NParks) and nature groups here over three years before drilling started.

There was a comprehensive suite of mitigation measures, said LTA, such as reducing the number of boreholes required for the works, from 72 to 16.

Other measures included locating the boreholes on existing trails and clearings to minimise the impact on existing flora.

National University of Singapore biology lecturer N. Sivasothi, who has been part of the discussions LTA has had with nature groups, said the suite of measures was "about the highest amount of mitigation demonstrated by any project - maybe anywhere in the world".

He said discussions on the plan were so detailed that theyincluded specifying how an engine pump was to be operated to prevent petrol spillage.

Ms Chloe Tan, spokesman for the Love Our MacRitchie Forest volunteer group, said the presence of animals might not mean there wasno impact on the animals and there is a need to know their abundance and distribution too.

Phase Two of the study, which assesses the potential environmental impact of the future construction - including tunnelling and operations - is ongoing and is expected to be completed later this year, said LTA.

The 50km Cross Island Line will stretch from Changi to Jurong and is set to be completed in 2030.