[NSL flooding] KBW "has failed us".
KBW vz LTA was fully aware about the irreparable state of the 5000cuM sump pool emptying pumps for the purpose of water drainage of the downwards sloping tracks between Bishan (ground level) and Braddell (underground) MRT stations (to prevent flooding of Braddell MRT station).
LTA, being the Owner of all MRT assets, is fully cognizant about the safety aspects and mechanical details of main property infrastructure and their safe use thereof.
LTA being owner of the main infrastructure is duty bound to state in contract when tendering for MRT train operating companies, the critical KPI CHECKLIST for the safe operation of train services in Singapore. Besides the periodic testing, maintenance of automatic float mechanism pump switches and pumps, sump water level monitors and alarms etc , the cleaning of the sump of debris and sludge is essential for the system to work.
LTA in agreeing to pay for replacement of the entire pump system on 29September 2017, should also have studied the checklist to ensure that the sump was fully empty: corresponding to the LTA agreement with subcontractor transport operator that the pump system was beyond economic repair by the transport operator (SMRT).
Had LTA provided the subcontractor with a proper sump+ pump system maintenance and assessment time table and checklist, then LTA would have been well aware and in control of the situation and totally averted the 7th October 2017 NS line shutdown for almost 20hours.
Such an LTA provided CHECKLIST would have inspired LTA to seek SCDF assistance to drain the 5000cuM sump long BEFORE 7th October (rather than after) since a proper sump water level reading would itself have triggered all alarm bells.
Incidentally, such a checklist would also provide sump+pump drainage operability / performance and determine the most economical options forward.
Right from the start, it is LTA that was totally sleeping on the job and merely behaving like a mere shareholder / banker of the SMRT company and only depending on SMRT for revenue collection but having zero idea how the MRT is actually designed to operate /work.
By blaming SMRT for what is essentially LTA negligence /fault from the start, LTA is making it hostile / unfavourable for other public transport sub contractors to bid competitively to run public transport route services and thus unnecessarily escalating public transport costs in Singapore.
In this regard, Minister Khaw Boon Wan is a lousy workman with the habit of sleeping on the job and then blaming his tools. KBW has "failed us" and his continued appointment as minister for transport is "sad and unnecessary ". Again, in his own words, his appointment as minister "should not have happened"; he should be REPLACED ASAP with someone more capable and embracing a broader overview of public transport provision as a whole.
Pls also see [Braddell MRT]One switch spoilt = change the entire pump system ... KBW must justify use of state funds!!! to see if total replacement of the entire drainage pump system is actually necessary / just a knee jerk, bazooka shot in the dark: i.e. IRRESPONSIBLE SQUANDERING of public funds by LTA under leadership of KBW.
Khaw Boon Wan on NSL flooding: SMRT maintenance team 'failed us'
Khaw Boon Wan on NSL flooding: SMRT maintenance team 'failed us'
Train operator SMRT has apologised for the flooding at the Bishan-Braddell MRT tunnel which disrupted services along the North-South Line on Oct 7 and 8. Dr Zhou Yi, a council member at the Institution of Engineers in Singapore, says the situation was preventable.
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By Justin Ong
16 Oct 2017 06:30PM
(Updated: 16 Oct 2017 11:07PM)
SINGAPORE: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday (Oct 16) said the SMRT maintenance team in charge of the anti-flood system at Bishan station had “failed us”, in his first public address on the major North-South Line (NSL) tunnel flooding incident two weekends ago.
On the evening of Oct 7 - a Saturday - torrential rainwater seeped in at Bishan station, causing the underground tunnel leading to Newton station to be submerged up to waist level.
SMRT had to cut off trackside power supply as a safety precaution, causing service on six stops across the NSL to be disabled for about 20 hours. More than a quarter of a million commuters were affected.
It was Singapore’s first disruption due to flooding and one of SMRT’s worst breakdowns in recent history, prompting much public unhappiness.
The incident was “sad and unnecessary” - but preventable and should not have happened, said Mr Khaw.
“We are all sorry it did ... Whatever follow-up action which needs to be done, has already started. Nothing has been covered up.”
“The incident has pushed back the recovery of public confidence in us,” he acknowledged.
Mr Khaw said Singapore’s MRT tunnels were designed to handle local weather and cope with “very extreme storms far more severe than the last few weeks”.
“The bottom line is they should not have been flooded. But on Oct 7, the stretch at Bishan and Braddell stations did.”
“There are standard anti-flooding systems with huge stormwater sump pits,” he explained. “Our findings show that the anti-flooding system there was poorly maintained.”
“In simple terms, the stormwater pit can hold more than 5,000 cubic metres of rainfall ... During that period over the catchment area, rainfall could not have exceeded 700 - let’s stretch it, 1,000 cubic metres.”
Said Mr Khaw: “If it were well-maintained, the reservoir should be empty before rain starts to flow. But it overflowed. The pit had not been maintained properly.”
He later revealed that the Land Transport Authority and SMRT had in fact, on Sep 29, made a decision to replace the pumps.
“So we are late by a few days. Had they proceeded to replace (the pumps) this thing might not even have happened.
"But I suppose that is life."
“WE’VE MADE SERIOUS IMPROVEMENTS”
The Transport Minister said energies had been focused on rails and train signalling systems instead - which he pointed out had improvements to show.
“At the beginning I said to give me four or five years. We are at the mid-point now,” he stated.
“We wanted to close the gap with Taipei’s benchmark of 800,000 km without incident ... We have made serious improvements, we have exceeded next year’s target (of 400,000km) and that’s why I was confident enough to say let’s go for 1 million.
“But I knew Singaporeans couldn’t relate, because they still hear delays here and there because of resignalling.”
The main reason for this, said Mr Khaw, can be traced to two major projects ongoing at the same time - improvements to existing lines and resignalling for the NSL.
“I did say the resignalling would have tonnes of problems. I said so in public, to bear with us,” he said.
“So even when you evaluate our performance in resignalling, we have done well. That’s why I’m concerned when media reports conflate the two projects and draw wrong conclusions.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/khaw-boon-wan-on-nsl-flooding-smrt-maintenance-team-failed-us-9315666