Hougang family woken up by noisy tree-pruning works on Sunday -- but it had to be done

Submitted by Stomper D

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Works that generate high noise levels are typically prohibited on Sundays and public holidays in Singapore – unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Which is the case for what happened in Hougang Avenue 1 last Sunday (Oct 15).

Stomper D said she was awakened by loud tree-pruning works between Blocks 172 and 174B in the morning, and shared videos of the noise.

The Stomper recounted: "Just like every other person, my family with two children and I were sleeping when we woke up to the very loud noise of tree-cutting.

"From what I know, these kind of maintenance services are usually and mostly done on weekdays. Hence, I called the Essential Maintenance Service Unit (EMSU) and informed them about the issue.

"As expected, the customer service officer mentioned that they are not supposed to be cutting trees on a Sunday. So what was happening isn't legal, is it?

"The person I spoke to subsequently called the supervisor in charge of this tree-cutting company and told them to stop their operations.

"But after receiving the call, they did not stop immediately and still went on cutting the trees for a good 10 minutes.

"Additionally, as you can see in the video, the vehicle was parked right in the middle of a pathway meant for residents and elderly people who use mobility devices.

"How are these people going to access the walkway on a Sunday if they have to get to the market or run errands? How are mothers walking their kids on strollers going to access the pathway?

"How can a company be so inconsiderate? Weren’t the workers educated well or are they being overworked by the company?"

D also described the issue as "atrocious".

She added: "I am very thankful that EMSU counter-acted on this situation fast and hope this kind of thing doesn’t happen again."

In this case, however, it appears that a little discomfort and inconvenience might have been necessary in the grand scheme of things.

Responding to a Stomp query, a spokesperson for Aljunied-Hougang Town Council said: "The town council generally does not permit works that generate high noise levels to take place on Sundays and public holidays unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as risk to public safety.

"On this particular occasion, the contractor concerned assessed that several trees were potential hazard to passers-by due to loose branches overhanging footpaths. As safety is paramount, the contractor was permitted to carry out actions to mitigate the risk posed by the said trees.

"The town council would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to residents."