Bukit Panjang hawker centre hit by rainwater

Less than 10 months after it opened to customers, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market is already in need of renovation.

The building was officially opened last month and is among 20 hawker centres being built by the Government by 2027, boasting larger stalls and better ventilation than their predecessors.

But it has been affected by rainwater splashing in and collecting.

It is now undergoing repairs.

On one side of the centre, a small section of the floor is being hacked and modified so rainwater is discharged more quickly.

Some of the louvre panels near the ceiling are also covered with plastic sheets as a temporary move to prevent rainwater from splashing in and wetting tables and chairs.

The centre was closed for two days for cleaning and renovation works from Monday.

Stalls were open as usual when The Straits Times visited yesterday, though there was some drilling.

The modification of the floor started on Monday and is expected to be completed soon.

Staff at a drinks stall near the affected area said rainwater collects during periods of heavy rain.

Carolina Maengkom, 53, who works at a nasi padang stall, said: "When it rains heavily, the water splashes in and chairs get wet.

Business has not really been affected, people will just move further inside, but it's good that the plastic sheets have been put up."

A spokesman for the National Environment Agency said the centre will undergo other modification works next month.

"Part of (this) includes installing a fixed panel behind the louvres to prevent rainwater from splashing into the centre, caused by the unexpected strong winds at the affected area," she added.

"Measures to minimise rain splashing at the perimeter of the hawker centre are considered at the design stage while ensuring that the natural ventilation is not compromised as far as possible."

NTUC Foodfare, which manages the centre, told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that once the modification works are completed, likely by the end of next month, the plastic sheets will be removed.

The sheets may indirectly reduce the ventilation though, as air cannot pass through the louvres when they are covered up.

Lim Chin Tiong, 31, who works at a chicken rice stall, said: "It's a bit hotter if people sit at this area between two rows of stalls. I'm not sure if the plastic sheets worsen the issue but it'd be good if there were more fans."


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