Marked improvement after renovation

As a frequent patron of Ghim Moh Hawker Centre for years, I have noticed marked improvements at the upgraded eating place ("Good ol' Ghim Moh back in business"; last Thursday, and "Areas for improvement in hawker centres" by Mr Thomas Ling; Monday).

The stall facades have been renewed and look refreshing.

The raised ceiling, high-volume, low-speed fans and increased number of ceiling and wall fans have indeed made the hawker centre much cooler than before.

The arrangement of tables (rectangular and circular) enhances seating capacity, and the spacing between tables is better.

The size of stalls need not differ, as suggested by Mr Ling, as the next hawker who takes up an empty stall would be limited in the choices of food he can offer, due to the size of the stalls.

It is all right to use the table directly in front of a stall for food preparation as long as the table is emptied by the time the crowd starts to come in.

With constant checks and possible fines by the authorities, the use of this common space would not be compromised, and this benefits both hawkers and customers.

The return-tray area is a good example of public suggestions put into practice. The racks even have sinks installed nearby, some at heights catered for children.

The work flow of the personnel manning these racks could be fine-tuned to ensure that the racks are cleared in a timely manner to make space for patrons returning their trays.

Mr Ling's suggestion of having bigger stalls and installing ventilation fans (which are more effective in lower-ceiling environments) would increase hawkers' operating costs, which, in turn, could translate into higher food prices for consumers.

Annie Ng Lee Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'Marked improvement after renovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe