Upgrade for two markets

THE Pulau Tikus and Jelutong markets are up next for upgrading works in the Penang Government’s effort to uplift markets in the state.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said two tenders, at RM877,754 and RM810,370 respectively, had been approved to upgrade the markets.

“The Pulau Tikus Market is the fifth market on the island where we have started upgrading works.

“The market was handed over to the contractor ‘ Bintang Pelangi Enterprise ‘ on April 29 and work is expected to take eight months,” Lim said during a visit to the 55-year-old market on Saturday.

He said the last time any work had been done to the market was in 2005 when the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) repaired leaks in the roof.

MPPP building director Yew Tung Seang said upgrading works would be done in four stages.

“The wet market and toilets will be covered under the first stage which has already started. This will be followed by work on stalls selling chicken and pork, then the upgrading of the walkway surrounding the market and finally, the market?s hawker centre,” Yew said, adding that there were 161 stalls in the market.

He said the market roof would be cleaned and painted, new gutters installed and all stalls would see new cement floors and fresh mosaic at the work spaces.

The pathways will also be retiled while the whole market would be equipped with new wiring and water piping.

“We are also increasing the number of toilets from two to 10. Aside from this, one disabled-friendly toilet will be built,” Yew said.

For the Jelutong Market, Yew said upgrading works would also take eight months and be carried out in five phases.

“The contractor, Noor Azhar Enterprise, will tackle the outside stalls first followed by the fish stalls in the wet market.

“The third and fourth phases will also involve the wet market, specifically the vegetable stalls, while the last phase will cover external works including new fencing surrounding the market,” Yew said during a visit to the site by Lim yesterday.

He said new wiring and water piping would also be installed.

He said special features would include the upgrading of the market?s facade and the building of a new entranceway at the 40-year-old market’s main entrance facing Lorong Penaga.

“There are a total of 79 stalls in the market. Possession of the complex will be handed to the contractor on June 2 with the targeted completion date on Feb 1 next year,” Yew said.

Lim, who talked to traders and market-goers during his visit to the Jelutong Market yesterday, said that out of the 23 markets on Penang island, 17 had been slated for upgrading works.

“The remaining five are new markets and are not in need of refurbishment. However, some older markets, like the Jelutong Market, have never seen any upgrading works since they were built although repairs are done from time to time,” Lim said.

Penang Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the owner of a piece of private property near the Pulau Tikus Market had applied for the space to be developed.

“The area in question currently houses a private car park. Initially, the owner intended to build semi-detached houses which would leave no parking at all for market-goers.

“After discussions, he has agreed instead to a mixed development project with a basement car park that will be opened to the public,” said Chow who was present for both of Lim’s market visits.

Both markets will remain open during the upgrading.

SOURCE: The Star

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