The National Environment Agency (NEA) says the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) should not delay to November an annual spring cleaning for a Bedok hawker centre.
"The hawker centre at Block 511 Bedok North Street 3 is due for major spring cleaning (including the high areas) on 24 June 2013, and this cannot be postponed," the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added: "As a public service agency, NEA's main priority is to ensure that the standards of public hygiene are not compromised and the hawker centres well maintained. NEA imposes the same standards on all town councils and expects all stakeholders to act in good faith."
On Monday, the Workers' Party-led AHPTC had said it would clean the hawker centre at Block 511, including its ceiling area, in the last week of November.
It also made public a schedule for spring cleaning four other hawker centres that fall under its watch. They will all be cleaned in October or November.
NEA, AHPTC and hawkers are expected to meet on Thursday to thrash out the issue.
NEA's statement on Tuesday is the latest salvo in a dispute that began last month, over the cleaning of hawker centre ceilings.