The explosive re-opening of the Tanjong Pagar Plaza market and food centre took place formally on Saturday morning, with performances such as children’s unicycle team and a lion dance troupe leaping up on poles.
The opening was anchored by a grassroots adviser and Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah, who took a walk around the two levels of food centre and market after welcoming the residents back.
In 10 months, the renovation of the old centre, which is now 27-year-old, was completed under the Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme (HUP) by the National Environment Agency, and became fully operational on 1st of January. Customers got more seats, improved ventilation, upgraded toilet facilities, and a lift for the disabled and the older people.
The 63-year-old chairman of the Tanjong Pagar Plaza residents’ committee, Mr Hui Beng Hong, stated that the construction work should be done carefully so as not to damage the MRT line laying beneath the centre. The cost of upgrading Tanjong Pagar’s market and food centre totalled about $4.85 million.
Following the launching of the $420-million HUPA in 2001, a total of 106 hawker centres has been improved. The upgrade covers tables and stools replacement, ventilation improvement, toilet and bin centres upgrade as well as other refurbish works.
The Government as at 2011 announced its intention of building 10 new hawker centres, which would be the first set of new centres in over 20 years.
According to the announcement, the first which will be in Bukit Panjang, will be designed to have a wet market. Construction set off in 2012 and the completion is expected to be in 2015.