Hawker centre revamps: Issues to consider

I concur with Mr Thomas Ling's argument that the National Environment Agency (NEA) should consider several issues when designing and upgrading hawker centres ("Areas for improvement in hawker centres"; Monday).

The Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre in Seng Poh Road, for example, is very popular with Singaporeans and foreigners.

There are escalators and lifts which elderly customers can use. All the stalls are laid out in a circle and can be easily seen. There is ample space for wheelchairs, trolleys and prams. The traditional stalls selling mee chian kueh, kway chap and chwee kueh are still around to cater to the older generation, who grew up on those dishes.

The Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre in Upper Bukit Timah Road, on the other hand, now looks incongruous with the opening of the Beauty World MRT station on Downtown Line 2. There is little space for wheelchairs and all the stalls are laid out in rows, some of which are hardly visible from the staircases. New escalators are urgently needed as the lunch crowd gets bigger by the day.

Stalls situated far away from the staircases are suffering from poor business, and the layout of the building is partly to blame.

The Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre in Yung Sheng Road also has a poor layout and needs to be upgraded. The escalators are dilapidated and accidents have occurred, involving young children whose shoes were caught by the moving steps of the escalators.

The glass ceiling is not ideal for our hot climate. Also, there is little protection from the rain if patrons sit near the air-wells.

The mynahs are a constant irritation to patrons and they leave the tables in a mess after gorging on leftover food. They also leave their droppings on the tables and chairs.

The NEA needs to step in to provide a more conducive environment for patrons.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'Hawker centre revamps: Issues to consider'. Print Edition | Subscribe