Traders sceptical about DBKL’s vague relocation plans

A lot of customers thronged to the market in the market and this is the reason why most of the traders refused to relocate. 09 Sept 2014 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

THE FUTURE holds many uncertainties for the morning market traders beside Kenanga Wholesale City (KWC) as they worry that they may not be given similar business opportunity once the market is relocated to make way for a proposed mixed commercial project.

The proposal was to shift the market some 300m away from Jalan Merlimau, closer to the Pudu LRT station.

However, most of the traders say they are being kept in the dark and do not know of any proper relocation plans by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). They urge the local government and the project developer to consider their livelihood by ensuring there is good traffic of business in the new location.

While some have accepted the relocation with the condition of cleaner environment and regular flow of customers, others are against the relocation.

Poultry trader Tang Men Fook is doubtful that they will be given the area near Pudu LRT.

The morning market beside Kenanga Wholesale City will continue operating until a complex is built near the Pudu LRT station..  09 Sept 2014 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star 
The morning market beside Kenanga Wholesale City will continue operating until a complex is built near the Pudu LRT station..  09 Sept 2014 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star.

“There is no specific location given to us and I am sceptical of the proposed site. DBKL or the developer should at least prepare an alternative site for us.

“We had attended a dialogue with DBKL and the developer’s representatives but we could not come to an agreement as the new location suggested to us was not suitable for the market.

“The issue has dragged on and until now there is no resolution. I do not have much objection provided that the place is good for business as we depend on this for a living,” said the 70-year-old trader.

Vegetable seller Chong Ming Yuek, 42, said he was not against the relocation although he would prefer the market to remain at the current location.

“I have been operating here for more than 30 years, since my parents started the business, I will have to adapt to the new location.

“We can accept it if the location is reasonable but we have not told of any new site yet,” she said.

A food trader, who refused to be named, said the relocation would burden the traders.

“We are all doing well at this market site we have our own regular customers. Our customers may not come to the new location.

“The project developer should have another dialogue with the traders and maybe sort out some compensation for the relocation,” she said.

The market consists of more than 200 hawkers and traders operating at the stretch of Jalan Merlimau before the Kenanga Wholesale City (KWC) was built.

When KWC was completed, the hawkers and traders were grouped on a vacant land beside KWC, under a roofed structure at the junction of Jalan Merlimau and Lorong Gelugor.

Morning market beside Kenanga mall (general shots). 09 Sept 2014 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star 
Morning market beside Kenanga mall (general shots). 09 Sept 2014 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star.

In 2010, there was talk of moving the market but nothing came of it.

Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee hopes DBKL will reconsider approving the proposed project, which consists of a 45- storey condominium and a six- storey shopping centre.

“There will definitely be serious implications on traffic in the area.

“With only Jalan San Peng and Jalan Hang Tuah being the main roads channelling traffic out from the area and with limited parking space, I see a potential traffic gridlock,” he pointed out.

Ang stressed that the association and its members were not against development in the area but more consideration should be given them.

“There are a lot of nearby residents who come to the market for their groceries and breakfast, so relocating the market will also deprive them of this convenience.

“We have signed a petition against the proposed project and hope that DBKL will look into the matter,” he added.

Upon visiting the site, StarMetro found parts of the less than 0.4ha land had been surrounded with hoardings.

DBKL Planning deputy director Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah said the current market was operating on government land and DBKL had approved the proposed building’s designs.

“The land has been sold the land to a developer for redevelopment but there are still several things in the project’s proposal to be amended.

“The relocation is necessary so that the market can operate in a proper site, with public transport, good public facilities and foot traffic.

“A complex will be built on a vacant land beside the Pudu LRT station, for the market,” he assured.

On the much reported fear of heavy vehicular traffic in the area in future, Mahadi said the anticipated volume had been taken into account.

“DBKL conducts traffic studies and will only approve projects based on the traffic impact results,” he said.

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