Residents at Pasir Ris Central have not been able to get any sleep recently as works near their home at White Sands shopping center have been going on at a furious pace – sometimes even at night and into the wee hours of the morning.

One resident, 25 year-old private tutor Kay Tan, who is 8 months pregnant, complains: “I can’t fall asleep and I’m kept up till 3 or 4am.” She lives at Pasir Ris One, just across the road from the mall.

Other residents say that drilling, knocking and the sounds of metal bars being transported can be heard even at night. The noise has become so bad that many residents now shut their windows and balcony doors at night to ward off the noise.
“A lot of my neighbours are frustrated. One of them even shouted at the workers from his balcony,” said Ms Nazeera, a resident living opposite the mall.

Residents have reported the noise pollution to both the mall and the National Environment Agency (NEA), which regulates noise levels from construction sites. The NEA confirmed that it has received 43 complaints from 19 different people about the noise from the site since March.

Under its rules, construction work is permitted at night, but noise levels at worksites located less than 150m from residential buildings cannot exceed 55 decibels between 10PM and 7AM. 55 decibels is similar to normal conversations between people.

NEA has issued two composition fines to Gennal Industries, the firm doing the works: one for carrying out works on a Sunday in February, and another for exceeding the noise limit in July.

The agency said it will issue another composition fine to the contractor for busting noise limits on the night of Sept 7.

Companies that exceed noise limits can be fined up to $40,000.

The NEA has also notified the firm to confine its working hours to between 7am and 10pm. This curb will kick in on Thursday.

But, Mr Alvin Ng, 33, project manager of the worksite, said his team plans to appeal against the fines and work-hour restriction.

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