Shops in India Street set to be upgraded

Abang Johari (third from left) visiting India Street Pedestrian Mall. With him are Kuching North mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai (left) and pedestrian mall committee chairman Datuk Wee Hong Seng (second from left). — SYAQUERA RAWING / The Star.

KUCHING: The shops along India Street Pedestrian Mall here will be given a facelift now that the roof over the street has been completed.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government had approved an allocation for the buildings to be cleaned and repainted following a proposal from the pedestrian mall committee chairman Datuk Wee Hong Seng.

“We want India Street to be like those in Singapore where the old architecture is preserved. This is a heritage area and we will upgrade the buildings in this street,” he told reporters after visiting the street on Monday.

Abang Johari said the cost of the facelift had yet to be determined, adding that this was part of efforts to turn the historic city centre into an attractive tourist destination.

“India Street has a long history as a shopping area in Kuching, not only for locals but also visitors. It is located next to the old court house, which we have upgraded with collaboration from a private company.

“After this, we will look at what we can do in Carpenter Street. This will be extended to Gambier Street and Main Bazaar as a heritage area to attract tourists,” he said.

On the recently-completed roof over India Street, Abang Johari said there were defects in certain parts where slanting sections caused rainwater to flow down on the shops beneath them.

“I have asked the consultant to rectify the matter so that water will not fall on the shops,” he said, adding that the roof would provide shelter from the rain and sun for shoppers.

The RM4.3mil roof project was recently completed after some delays in construction due among others to a late start and foundation problems from legacy piping in the area.

The roof structure is supported by columns resembling tree trunks ranging from 8m to 12m above street level to accommodate the different heights of the shop buildings.

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