Jurong fire aftermath

Agencies join forces to help stallholders

A multi-agency effort is under way to help the 51 stallholders affected by a fire that destroyed their wet market and two coffee shops in Jurong on Tuesday.

Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng met the stallholders last night, along with representatives of the Housing Board, the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The HDB and NEA provided the affected stallholders, from blocks 493 and 494 in Jurong West Street 41, with a list of 27 market stalls and 22 food stalls that are available in Clementi and Ghim Moh.

Stallholders who are interested will get assistance to relocate to the new stalls, where monthly rental costs are between $200 and $850. "Business is expected to resume within a month," the HDB said.

Rental costs and service and conservancy charges for the wet market operator will be waived for the period it cannot operate, on the condition that the stallholders in turn are not charged.

The HDB and NEA will work with the owners of the two coffee shops.

The MSF's Social Service Office in Taman Jurong is providing assistance to stallholders, and immediate relief funds will be disbursed by Southwest CDC.

Mr Ang said a new market "may take a year-plus to build". The immediate priority is to find alternative stalls at other markets so that the stallholders can resume business as soon as possible.

"We have decided to provide an emergency relief fund of $500 to each of the stallholders tonight," Mr Ang added.

Mr Derek Tan, owner of the Block 494 coffee shop, said it might take about four months before he could reopen.

Stallholders told The Straits Times that they would rather stay in the area as some of them live there or have regular customers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'Agencies join forces to help stallholders'. Print Edition | Subscribe