History of Aljunied Road Next To Mattar Road
The Antares condo where it is located at Aljunied is a suburban area situated on the eastern side of the city centre in Singapore. The area was named after Aljunied Road and refers to its neighbouring areas including MacPherson Road, Geylang Road and Upper Aljunied Road extending from MacPherson Road junction to connect with Upper Serangoon Road. The formerly agricultural land is now heavy urbanised with HBD flats and amenities such as recreational facilities, parks, schools, and shops.
The history of the development of Aljunied dates back to the 19th century. It is suspected that Aljunied Road was named after Syed Ali bin Mohammed Aljunied, a member of the Aljunied family in 1926 Syed Omar the father to Syed Ali was among the earliest Arabs to occupy Singapore following the establishment of a British trading post in 1891. The Aljunied family produced philanthropists, community leaders and prominent businesspeople. Although little was recorded about the early history of the area, some records indicate that Aljunied was developed in 1931 marked with plantations off Aljunied Road.
Between 1942 and 1945 the Japanese air force started occupying the area. The area was picked due for building hangars that were used for repairing Aircraft engines due to the presences of plenty of coconut trees that provided ideal camouflage for the hangers. As a result, the Japanese chased away the people who occupied there since it was now considered a protected military site.
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After the war, Aljunied continued being a rural area with most of its occupants being squatters who lived in palm frond houses. Following the launch of the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) which was part of a 42 million squatter settlement scheme in 1953, one of the main squatter colonies was established. Through the scheme, SIT rented out the land that was subdivided into plots to squatters who moved in from other areas. While the government acquired much of the land after the 1950s, squatter colonies still existed in several parts of Aljunied in 1980.
Before 1952, the eastern side of Singapore had few housing estates. The SIT, in charge of public housing then, invested the city area and the western parts such as Bukit Timah, Alexandra and Queenstown. An estate was established in Aljunied in 1953 as part of SIT’s low-rental scheme. Following the severe fire outbreak in Geylang, the government set aside a 120-acre plot situated between MacPherson and Aljunied for the establishment of more emergency houses for the squatters in the area. The housing scheme would later provide 300 flats and 1250 homes on a 3-storey block that featured 3 markets and 50 shops. The Upper Aljunied Housing estate that featured 7 blocks of high-rise flats was developed in the 1960s. Situated next to Macpherson Road and Upper Aljunied Road, were estates whose residents comprised of the middle-income earners like small-time businesspeople, teachers and clerks.
According to the 1955 masterplan, Aljunied Road bordered by Geylang, the Jalan Eunos Malay Settlement, Paya Lebar and Toa Payoh was zoned as an urban planning district. The area was then labelled as a fast-growing residential suburb that had around 24,100 residents in 1953. From 1994, Aljunied area has been subzone in the Geylang planning area.