The caretakers of a makeshift shrine on Science Centre Road in Jurong were given a final notice on Nov. 29 to vacate the premises by Dec. 12.
In a joint statement, JTC, National Parks Board (NParks), and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) stated that the makeshift shrine “is an illegal encroachment on public land” and a part of the Jurong Lake District Masterplan.
Land preparation and infrastructure work are set to begin in the near future but cannot start if the shrine is still there.
The shrine is built out of poles tied together and zinc sheets for the roof and appears to have a few sections.
In the statement, it is understood that the caretakers have been away of the issue since Jul. 28, 2021 when the government agencies first approached them to relocate the shrine.
After the initial meeting and communications, the agencies continued to send requests and reminders to vacate the space. The caretakers’ appeal was heard and the parties held a meeting on Sep. 14, 2021 where they shared that they had difficulties trying to find a new place to relocate to.
An extension was granted to movie out by Dec. 13, 2021 but on Sep. 28, 2021 the caretakers said they would not be able to make the deadline due to Covid restrictions.
The agencies requested details and documents of the challenges in finding a new place on Oct. 6, 2021 but received no response. Still, they agreed to extend the deadline to Jan.
In these correspondences, the caretakers have also put in appeals to extend their stay and also shared that they had difficulties searching for a site to relocate to Jan. 13 this year.
Since then, there had been several correspondences and the agencies continued to experience pushback from the caretakers – and up till now, the shrine remains at the site.
As said in the statement, the caretakers’ were told yesterday that the final deadline to move out will be Dec. 12 – a full year after the first extension was given.
Failure to vacate will force the agency to issue formal enforcement notices under the State Lands Encroachments Act and the JTC.