In light of the recent incidents due to the parking squeeze in landed housing estates, one would have expected the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to issue a statement; especially with the many misconceptions floated by residents and other interviewees. Yet, the silence is almost deafening.

However, fresh on the heels of that episode is a report that someone installed two mechanical carlifts in his private compound, but has been served notice by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to take them down. The URA’s stance is that these mechanical devices, similar to those found in car workshops for mechanics to inspect vehicle undercarriages, are considered structures, and thus require a building permit.

Example of installed vehicular lifts. Despite pictured structure, lifts can be stand-alone, and do not require any surrounding construction to be installed.

A statement by a URA spokesperson said that it had “investigated arising from feedback and found that the structures were erected without planning approval”. Emphasis on “feedback” is ours; it sure sounds suspiciously like a disgruntled neighbour to us…

Now, we don’t dispute that the URA has every right to enforce urban planning laws as they see fit. Without their control and oversight, we would not only have an urban mess, but also potentially unsafe and substandard buildings – there’d be no one to prevent disreputable contractors from cutting corners and bilking the property-buying public.

In this case, though, we can’t help but see the tragic irony of the situation. Here we have, I daresay, a responsible resident who parts with $30,000 of his personal (and most likely, considerable) fortune, so that he doesn’t have to park his fleet of 5 or so vehicles along the public road. This solution thus avoids potential obstruction and neighbourly unpleasantness. And what does URA do? They issue a cease-and-desist order, forcing him to take down the mechanical lifts that are classified rather dubiously as buildings.

On the other hand, LTA is facing a rising issue of roadside parking squabbles that has actually led to a fist-fight recently, along with a considerable history of acrimonious neighbourhood relationships and haphazardly-placed objects along public streets.

URA’s zealous pursuit of their “turf” might be easily written off, if it were not so glaringly juxtaposed against LTA’s absolute and complete lack of response in the media; not even to clarify their stance on use of public space for parking of vehicles.

Are URA and LTA totally oblivious of each other? Do they not see that these issues are related, or do they just work in a vacuum? What do you think?


  One Response to “A Tale of Two Car-Lifts (and Ministries)”


    well, everyone knows that. Everyone knows the whole ERP idea is a joke. For a tyiapcl Singaporean may not see that. The government keeps saying that, they charge ERP bcos of the jams during the peak hours. I mean, of cos got jam. Thats the time ppl starting going to work/school, of cos got more ppl and cars on the road. When there are more cars on the road, they is bound to be jams. You expect ppl to go to work at 10 or 11am? Anyway, I think the government knows this idea doesnt work, but they are just too ashame to admit that this idea doesnt work. U know the kiasu symptom. So what they ll continue doing it. Furthermore, i think this is one of their master plan to suck more money from the ppl.Well, sad to say that no one (not even the citizens of Singapore ..thats so sad) can stop them. No doubt, Singapore goventment has a lot of money, and nobody can defeat them, but i think they have forgotten this world has a thing called the mother nature. One day mother nature will take revenge on behalf of the ppl.

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