JOHOR BARU: Local councils in Johor have been directed to take a firm stand against new illegal roadside hawkers.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the time had come for local councils to stop roadside hawkers from marring the streets here, especially in the Johor Baru district.
He said illegal hawkers should apply for business licences immediately and local councils should look at ways to relocate them to well-planned hawker centres.
“Traders must be reminded that they should not simply set up a makeshift food stall by the road side and they make a messy sight,’’ said Khaled.
He said this to reporters at the opening of the RM2.4mil D’Kontena street hawker centre in Bandar Baru Permas Jaya on Sunday.
The hawker centre run by Johor Baru City Council (MBBJ) is built on a site formerly occupied by illegal fruit sellers.
It now has 10 kiosks with monthly rental of RM600 each.
“We need to change our mentality and care about hygiene even when it comes to street food, a proper hawker centre is the answer to the issue of illegal roadside hawkers,’’ said Khaled.
Khaled, who is also Permas assemblyman, said MBJB would undertake several public infrastructure projects in Permas and Plentong this year.
He said two of the projects would start immediately, namely the upgrading of drainage system in Plentong costing about RM2mil as part of a flood mitigation project, and the upgrading of a 1.8km-long stretch along Jalan Permas Utara at RM9.1mil.
“A new bridge project in Permas Jaya costing about RM41mil will also take place this year to help disperse traffic and reduce congestions at the two existing bridges,’’ he said.
Khaled said the new bridge would connect Taman Iskandar to Laman Bumi Hijau in Taman Molek, offering an alternative route for motorists.