A new market at Chong Boon built by the National Environment Agency (NEA) turned out to be seriously problematic for stallholders.

According to a chicken poultry seller, he only had 30cm to walk after placing his 1.2m width chiller at the newly-built 1.5m walkway. Speaking to the media, the stallholder said:

“I don’t even have enough space to chop my chickens. When I chop, my arm will hit the pipes.”

A fishmonger also highlighted that she had to modify her display table and reduce it by 25cm:

“I have to walk sideways, like a crab, just to enter my stall.”

A fruit-seller also complained about the poor coordination of the NEA, which have given the stallholders just two weeks before rent collection starts:

“It’s too little time. We need time to install shutters, put up tables and get permits for the electricity and water supply.”

When queried by the media, the NEA rebutted that the new stall were bigger in area but admitted that the walkway were too narrow.

NEA refuse to give an extension on rent collection date, offer to re-do the construction or even acknowledge their design flaw.

With numerous complaints of the narrow design, it is unclear whether if NEA’s design meet the Civil Defence’s minimum clearance for emergency.