JOINT RELEASE BETWEEN NEA AND NPARKS
Singapore, 25 November 2009 – The hawker centre at Block 531A Upper Cross Street will be given a facelift, under the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme (HUP). Upgrading works for this centre will commence on 1 March 2010 and stallholders can look forward to resuming business in the upgraded centre in the first half of 2011.
The upgrading seeks to inject a new lease of life into the centre that was built in 1978, and provide an infrastructure where the stallholders can maintain better hygiene conditions. In addition, patrons can look forward to a new environment that is more conducive for their marketing and dining needs. Key aspects of the upgrading include improved ventilation, upgraded toilet facilities and increased refreshment area.
The $6 million upgrading works will see a reconfiguration of existing market layout to enhance circulation space and provide larger passageways. To offer patrons greater convenience, the centre will also be upgraded with elderly and handicap-friendly features such as ramps to enhance its barrier-free accessibility.
Other scope of work includes replacement of sanitary and plumbing pipes, upgrading of electrical loading and rewiring, provision of new mechanical exhaust system for cooked food stalls, change of floor and wall tiles, improvement in lighting conditions as well as provision of better fire safety features.
Temporary Market at Hong Lim Park
To continue serving the existing community in that locality during the upgrading period, the Hong Lim Complex Hawkers Association will engage the services of SIC Construction Pte Ltd to build and manage a temporary market. The operator will be licensed by NEA. Sixty two stallholders will be financing and operating at the temporary market.
The stallholders have identified a section of Hong Lim Park as the preferred locale of the temporary market. This site is chosen due to its close proximity to the current hawker centre, so that the stallholders can continue to serve the surrounding community and regular customers, and sustain their livelihood.
Part of the temporary market will take up the rarely used segment of the Speakers’ Corner. This will not affect the activities and usage of the Speakers’ Corner as a major portion of the park - which is also the part that is more commonly used due to its proximity to the MRT station - will remain accessible for public use. Even with this development, there will still be sufficient space available for Singaporeans to conduct their activities.
Singapore citizens who would like to use the Speakers’ Corner can continue to register online via NParks’ website. To facilitate the temporary market set-up, the boundary for Speakers’ Corner will be temporarily redrawn as of 1 December 2009. The boundary will be reinstated once the temporary market is demolished.
For those stallholders not operating at the temporary market, they may apply with NEA to operate temporarily at available vacant stalls in other non-upgraded centres.
The NEA currently manages 109 hawker centres. To date, 77 hawker centres have been upgraded under HUP. Some hawker centres that are currently undergoing upgrading include Block 270 Queen Street and Block 628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4.
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