Three hawker centres to close for upgrading for a year

Three decades-old hawker centres will temporarily close from this Friday for upgrading works costing close to $15 million.

The centres, located at Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Block 44 Holland Drive and Block 112 Jalan Bukit Merah, will reopen within a year with more seating, new ventilation systems, wider passageways and upgraded toilets.

The new centres will also be fitted out for patrons to return trays on their own, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement on Wednesday. Nine hawker centres currently take part in the tray-return drive, launched last November, to encourage patrons to clear up after they eat.

The Bukit Merah centre will reopen for business by December this year, while the Holland Drive and Tanjong Pagar centres will do so in January and March next year respectively.

Regular patrons of the centre at Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza will still see several of their familiar hawkers. Eight hawkers, with the NEA's help, will set up a temporary market next to the original centre.

To date, 103 out of the 107 hawker centres managed by the NEA have been upgraded.