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Kallang is an urban planning area and a subdivision located in the southeastern part of Singaporemarker.It is probably best-known for being the location of the Singapore Indoor Stadiummarker & the old National Stadium, as well as the new Singapore Sports Hub.

Etymology

Kallang is an old Malay reference to the orang laut (people of the sea), called orang biduanda kallang, who lived in the vicinity of the Kallang Rivermarker and Singapore River. At the time of Raffles' landing in Singapore in 1819, there were about 500 orang biduanda kallang. In 1824, the Temenggung moved the orang kallang to the Pulai River in Johormarker. They consisted of about 100 families, but in 1847 most of them died of a smallpox epidemic. By 1848, the orang kallang were virtually extinct.

There are other possible meanings for this particular place name. Kallang may also be a corruption of the Malay word kelang, meaning "mill" or factory". There were saw mills and rice mills here. Another explanation for the origin of Kallang is that it is derived from galang, which means "to put a boat on wooden stocks or rollers", an appropriate term as the Kallang area straddles both sides of the Kallang Rivermarker.

Geography and landmarks

Kallang is often known commonly as Kallang Basin. The area is drained by the Kallangmarker, Geylangmarker, Rochormarker and Whampoa rivers, and the Pelton Canal. The perimeter of the area is made up of Kolam Ayer in the north to Tanjong Rhu in the south, Rochor in the west to Geylang in the east. The Kallang Rivermarker, the longest river in Singapore, meanders through the area, and is a popular waterway for water sports.

Kallang is home to many light industrial estates, such as pipe makers, garment factories. Many heavy industry factories have been relocated away from the area, in order to promote residential use. Offices are often situated in Kallang for companies unwilling to pay for the high rent in the nearby Central Area, Singapore's central business district west of Kallang.

The housing estates, constructed by the Housing Development Board (HDB) in Kallang were built in the 1970s and 1980s. Some blocks are planned to be reconstructed under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) to redevelop the area, whose demographics are dominated by the middle-aged. New blocks which are 30 stories high are now prominent in the skyline of the area, with more being planned to be built under the new HDB construction policy. A notable major redevelopment is underway in the Old Airport estate, where many of the low-rise blocks have been demolished.

The Singapore National Stadiummarker is located at Kallang, which was the venue of many sports events and featured the National Day Parade almost every year until it was officially closed on 30 June 2007. It will be demolished to make way for the Singapore Sports Hubmarker which is expected to be ready in 2011.

The Kallang Cricket Ground is another sporting venue located in the district, and has played host to several One Day International cricket matches. In more recent times however, it is mainly used to host domestic competitions, and minor international matches, such as those between Singapore and Malaysia.

One landmark in Kallang was the large blue tubular container that marked the location of the Kallang Gasworks. It was completed in 1862, when the piped gas supply was turned on in Singapore. It ceased production in 1997, and Senoko Gasworks took over providing gas. The place has been marked as a historic site by the National Heritage Board. Only Gasholder No. 3, with its structural columns, has been preserved.



Jurisdiction

Kallang is under the Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency, which operates the local town council responsible for the general maintenance of the area.

Transportation

As it is in proximity to the Central Area, many transportation services pass through Kallang, and public bus services are abundant, integrating it into Singapore's transport system.

Rail service

Kallang is served by a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station at Kallang MRT Stationmarker, and is within the vicinity of the Boon Keng MRT Stationmarker.

A new MRT station at the National Stadium, named Stadium MRT Stationmarker, is slated to open in 2010. The station will be one of the Circle Line stations.

Air travel

Kallang was home to Singapore's first airport, opened on the 12 June 1937 by Sir Shenton Thomas, the then Governor of Singapore. The airport had the advantages of combined facilities for both land and marine aircraft. Due to an increase in demand the Singapore International Airportmarker was built in Paya Lebar. Kallang Airport ceased operations during the mid 1950s. The airport control building was eventually converted into the People's Association of Singapore HQ on the 1 July 1960 and the surrounding area has since been redeveloped.



References

  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1
  1. Sharon Seow, "Exploring Jalan Besar", Voices@Central Singapore Issue No. 35, Jul/Aug 2007.


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