Forum: Older markets and hawker centres have been improved over the years with barrier-free features

We refer to Mr Oei Khoen Hwa's letter, "Ensure markets and hawker centres are accessible too" (Aug 17).

Singapore's existing markets and hawker centres, which were mostly built in the 1970s and early 1980s, have seen several improvements over the years.

These include the Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme (HUP) carried out by the National Environment Agency (NEA), which improved the amenities of 106 markets and hawker centres, thereby enhancing the environment for both stallholders and patrons.

Each centre's inherent space and structure were evaluated to see if lifts and other barrier-free access features could be installed.

Where viable, the work carried out during the HUP included the addition of lifts, escalators and ramps within the markets and hawker centres to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities.

An example is Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre, where there are lifts, escalators and ramps for barrier-free access.

New and replacement markets and hawker centres built since 2015 were also designed with these barrier-free features to cater to the diverse needs of people, including the elderly, to foster inclusiveness and engagement.

NEA will continue to look into infrastructural enhancements at markets and hawker centres in consultation with various stakeholders.

Desmond Tan

Group Director, Infrastructure and Engineering Group

National Environment Agency

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