These neatly planted papaya trees will soon be gone. Their days are numbered.
A reader wrote to us that the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council has requested that the trees be removed within 7 days from the date of the notice stuck on the trees.
It’s not clear who planted the trees although the notice was addressed to residents of Block 527 Bedok North Street 3. The notice was dated 17 September.
If the trees are not removed after the 7 days, town council staff will remove them without further notice.
The reader expressed sadness to see ‘such high handed way of hanging the situation’.
“Community farming is a good platform for residents to come together and keep the seniors active in their neighbour [sic]. It is so sad to see how the town council simply “hang a notice” to inform the owner of the plants to remove it,” he said.
“As you can see in the picture, the small area is well maintained, there is no evidence of potential mosquitoes breeding or will it hinder grass-cutting as stated in the notice issued by the Town Council,” he added.
The reader felt that the town council should have engaged the residents and facilitate such ground-up effort by helping them better managed it.
“This will truly bring back the Kampung spirit of resident coming together to support one another, in this case, growing and sharing of food,” he said.
Here’s a screencap of the message we received:
A Bedok resident we spoke to agrees that the papaya trees add to a kampong feel in the estate. “I think it’s nice, something that is increasingly rare in Singapore. It can be educational also. Most children eat papaya but don’t know how a papaya tree look like, right? Now they’ve got these trees here, they’ve got this object lesson right in front of them. How to remove the trees without killing them?” Janice Koh said.
Another resident, a senior citizen in his 60s who declined to give his name, suggested that Aljunied-Hougang Town Council cleaners can harvest the papaya fruits to eat. It’s a ‘fruitful’ way to help keep insects away. Asked if he thought the trees will hinder grass cutting, he made a sweeping movement with his hand and said it was just a small area. One sweep by the grass cutter, and the job is done.
Singapore has a few million trees. What’s a few papaya trees, he asked.
His wife chipped in to say that along some parts of Tampines Avenue 9, you can see residents with their plants growing ‘in the common area’ outside of their ground floor flats. These plants give a strong kampong feel, she said. Well, guess we’ve got to check this out.
Whatever it is, seven days from the date of the notice will soon be over. What will be the fate of the papaya trees?