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Town council tried to deflect blame: NEA

Published on Jun 7, 2013 8:00 AM

THE Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) tried to get hawkers at Block 538, Bedok North Street 3 to pay extra cleaning costs, and when that failed it deflected blame, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) last night.

In a statement issued hours after it reached a resolution with the town council about the cleaning of two other hawker centres, NEA sought to address one last issue - who exactly was to blame for the failure to clean the ceiling of Block 538 in March.

When NEA e-mailed AHPETC on Feb 7 saying the hawkers would make "necessary arrangements" for scaffolding for the cleaning exercise, it said it was referring to scaffolding used to put up canvas sheets over stalls, and not for the cleaning of high areas.

Hawkers are not responsible for the ceiling scaffolding and "this is a longstanding practice that AHPETC and its contractors should have understood perfectly", said the NEA.

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