SINGAPORE: One home owner who wanted to visit his new flat in the up-and-coming Tengah town decided to cycle there on a rented bike.
But when Mr Sia reached his block, he realised he could not log into the bike-sharing app to lock the bicycle. His phone had no mobile signal.
The IT manager, who declined to give his full name, received the keys to his new flat in November last year. He visits the unit at Block 128A in Plantation Village occasionally while finalising renovation plans.
“The signal is so bad. I cannot get any StarHub or M1 signal in my home, at the void deck, at the corridor, at the car park, at open spaces,” the 38-year-old said.
Other home owners in the area shared similar accounts, with the first-floor car park most commonly cited as a dead zone. Residents said their mobile signals returned only when they reached major roads. A TODAY article earlier this month highlighted that some residents were frustrated by the weak mobile signals.
Some residents at the 700ha Tengah town began collecting their keys from August last year.
As of end-January, two Build-to-Order (BTO) projects – Plantation Acres and Plantation Grange – have been completed. A third project, Plantation Village, is still under construction but residential blocks have been completed.
Out of the roughly 30,000 public housing units expected to be launched in Tengah, 2,908 households have collected their keys and began moving in, as of Jan 18.
Most of Tengah is still under construction, including another 20 BTO projects, a bus interchange at Tengah Boulevard and the Tengah MRT station. A neighbourhood centre is slated to open progressively from the second quarter of this year.
Home owners have complained of issues ranging from limited accessibility to a lack of shops.
In response, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) placed food and beverage vending machines in parts of the estate, deployed a mobile grocery truck service and expanded bus services for residents.
The housing authority noted in a factsheet issued last month that amenities and major transport facilities require time to build up in a new town, unlike BTO developments built within existing towns where developed infrastructure is already in place.
HDB will ramp up the number of flats by more than six times over the next four years, with another 19,100 units to be delivered to flat buyers in Tengah.