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Tuesday May 6, 2008

Demolition work on Bukit Chagar flats finally begins

JOHOR BARU: The city’s most famous eyesore, the Bukit Chagar flats, located near the Causeway, is finally coming down.

Yesterday, workers started ripping apart the 25-year-old flats using tractors and other heavy machinery.

To businessman G.W. Tan, 54, who has been living in the area for the past 48 years, it’s about time the structures came down.

“This place in an eyesore,” he said, adding that he was hoping that their television reception would improve once the flats came down.

Unwanted structure: Workers using heavy machinery to tear down the 25-year-old Bukit Chagar flats from the top on Monday. Many residents living in the surrounding area are happy that the structure is finally going to disappear soon.

“All these years, we could not get clear reception of the Singapore channels as the flats were in the way. We can’t wait to get our channels back,” he said with a laugh.

He hoped the mosquito problem would also disappear; the abandoned flats had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes after the residents there relocated to Taman Sri Stulang and Pasir Pelangi.

Scrap metal thieves had also stripped the building bare in the past few months.

Meanwhile, 86-year-old Tan Gin Yow, who has lived for almost half a century in the area, said he had vivid memories of the area even before the Bukit Chagar flats came up.

According to him, the area was a squatter settlement popular with town council workers. They were moved out to make way for the flats.

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