The Marine Parade Central market and food centre will be closed for a few weeks early next year for a redesign and overhaul of its drainage system, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in a Facebook post.
ESM Goh said he visited the facility on Sunday morning with town council and officials from government agencies to study solutions to recent flooding problems there.
He noted that apart from the existing drainage system having inadequate capacity to cope with the high volume of rain water during downpours, the sewer pipes have suffered from wear and tear. Improper discharge of waste by stallholders also caused oil sludge and silt to accumulate at the drain invert and grating of screen chamber, he added.
ESM Goh said after deliberations, kerbs will be built to temporarily keep rain water out of the market drainage system before the overhaul next year. Stallholders will be consulted on the best time to close the market and issues that may arise from the closure, he said.
The market is a sold centre with the lease expiring in October 2017, and stall holders had turned down the Hawker Upgrading Programme twice, ESM Goh said. "But we decided that from the point of flooding, sanitation and sewerage drainage, the overhaul of the present drainage system cannot wait until the lease expires in October 2017."
In a separate Facebook post, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said food materials, utensils and a tray were found in the pipes there. There is a possible hygiene concern due to the sewerage pipes situation, he said.