MUTIARA Selera food court in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, which was destroyed in a fire last year, will be rebuilt with a modern design characterised by green and environment-friendly elements.
If everything goes as planned, the food court will reopen in January next year.
State infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the new building would be the first green building index (GBI)-certified public food court in Penang built at a cost of RM3.49mil.
“The place will feature a rainwater harvesting system and incorporate a lot of natural lighting and ventilation. It will be built on a flat platform, with seating surrounding the hawker stalls in the centre.
“It will still be a single-storey food court, with the addition of storage space, a surau and an office, ” he said at a press conference in Komtar.
Zairil, who is also Tanjung Bungah assemblyman, said a contractor would be appointed via an open tender this month to carry out the project.
“The rebuilding is expected to start by July and be completed in six months’ time. We hope to open the food court after obtaining the certificate of completion and compliance by January next year, ” he added.
In November last year, fire destroyed the food court located along Jalan Sungai Kerian and Jalan Tanjung Bungah. The food court had been there for about four decades and when news of the fire spread, many Penangites expressed feelings of nostalgia about the place.Zairil said the only option was to rebuild as the structure could not be salvaged, with most of the roof and stalls destroyed in the incident.
He said the state held several meetings before deciding on rebuilding it with state funds.
“Initially, we planned to give it to Penang Island City Council (MBPP) but it does not have the funds to rebuild the food court.
“Therefore, the matter was raised at the state exco meeting in February, and it was then decided that the state would fund it, ” he said.Zairil said the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), a state investment arm, would be the custodian of the land.
He added that the state would alienate the land to CMI eventually to manage the food court.
Roadside stall operators, he said, would also be brought into the food court, which would increase the number of stalls from 33 to 40.
Also present at the press conference was MBPP councillor Connie Tan.