It’s extra-wet in Little India Arcade because…

It’s extra-wet in Little India Arcade because…

 

Gutters removed to curb mosquito breeding, but now, rainwater falls closer to shops

 

AS the sky grew dark, so the did the mood of the Little India Arcade shop owners.

 

31 May 2008

 

AS the sky grew dark, so the did the mood of the Little India Arcade shop owners.

 

For stallholders on this particular row, the coming storm meant taking out their plastic sheets, moving their wares further out into the covered alley and bracing themselves for the onslaught of rainwater on their goods.

 

The National Environment Agency (NEA) decided, earlier this year, to have the roof gutters on most buildings in Little India removed.

 

This followed a chikungunya virus outbreak in the area in January and February.

 

The gutters in most parts of Little India Arcade were removed three weeks ago.

 

Now, rain water from the roof falls onto the canopy and into the alley.

 

Said one unhappy tenant: ‘The water comes all the way into the shop when it rains heavily. It makes all my things wet.’

 

Another tenant, who runs a kiosk shop, said: ‘We have to cover all our things… and move our items to one side. It makes the area narrow and cramped.’

 

Both declined to be named, for fear of upsetting the management.

 

‘BUSINESS AFFECTED’

 

The tenants we spoke to felt that shoppers, most of whom are tourists, are deterred from braving the rain to enter the shops.

 

Shoppers have to walk in a single file through the pathway made narrower by the puddles and the water falling through the gap between the wall and canopy.

 

When contacted, an NEA spokesman said: ‘Roof gutters should be easily accessible and maintained regularly so that there are no problems of water stagnation.. .

 

‘In this case, we required their removal to overcome the problems posed.’

 

The NEA also said that owners of premises are given the flexibility to decide how best to keep the rainwater away, as long it does not become a potential mosquito breeding area.

 

But it added that ‘this flexibility must not go against the requirements of any agency’.

 

All four tenants we spoke to said they had brought up this problem with the management.

 

‘Shortly after they took out the gutters it rained a few times and we told the management office that the rain is affecting business,’ said one of them.

 

Little India Arcade, which is owned by the Hindu Endowment Board, is managed by Knight Frank, a real estate consultancy firm.

 

Ms Sandy Sim, the complex manager from Knight Frank at the arcade management office, said: ‘We received the notice from NEA to remove the gutters about a month ago. It has been around three weeks since we removed the gutters.’

 

Ms Sim confirmed that they had received complaints from a few tenants.

 

She said the issue has been forwarded to higher management and the situation is ‘under review’.

 

She asked us to get in touch the agency’s headquarters.

 

However, staff at the Knight Frank headquarters directed us back to the management office in Little India Arcade.

 

We then contacted the CEO of Little India Arcade Private Limited, Mr Nallathamby, 48, at his Hindu Endowment Board office.

 

He said: ‘We have not received any complaints either in writing or verbally about the situation.

 

‘Knight Frank is supposed to inform us if anything happens.’

 

 

Source: The New Paper

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s