Bridge to link Pasar Geylang Serai to civic centre

As Pasar Geylang Serai’s 50th anniversary celebrations end, the authorities are busy preparing for the next phase of the iconic market’s development.

A bridge will be built to connect the market to the area’s upcoming civic centre – Wisma Geylang Serai – and there will also be links to the new Paya Lebar commercial hub.

Pasar Geylang Serai is one of Singapore’s oldest markets.

To end Pasar Geylang Serai’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a community lunch was prepared for some 5,000 people on Sunday.

It was graced by Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also the Member of Parliament for the area (Marine Parade GRC).

While 50 years have passed, there is more to expect.

For one, Wisma Geylang Serai is set to be ready in 2017 and it will be linked to Pasar Geylang Serai by a bridge.

The market will also be connected to the upcoming Paya Lebar hub by physical links like walkways.

Mr Tan said: “We do intend to create the physical links, in terms of walkways, so as to facilitate the flow of people, because at the Paya Lebar end, there are going to be a lot of offices.

“People will be coming here to shop, eat, and visit Wisma Geylang Serai itself. So how do we best facilitate the flow of traffic? I think that’s really quite important.

“What we want to do is, really, to provide the trafficability to facilitate the flow of people from one end of the Paya Lebar area to Geylang Serai, and back and forth, which I think will liven up the area.

“I think it will bring a lot of life. For the merchants here as well, it will also be a big boost for businesses. It’s a bit quiet on the weekdays. But I think as this place becomes a hub for people to live, work and play, I think you will see it coming alive quite considerably.

“But I think the important point to emphasise also is to keep the character and the spirit of the place.”

People Channel NewsAsia spoke to welcomed the idea.

Rahmat Sawie, secretary of Geylang Serai Merchants’ Association, said: “Previously, when we had our temporary market at Eunos Road 5, which is near the MRT station, the number of visitors to Pasar at that time was quite high.

“So our thinking is that, with the link from Paya Lebar hub or Paya Lebar MRT to Pasar Geylang Serai, it will really increase the number of visitors to our market.”

Dokiman Tahir, a resident, said he hopes that there will be shelter for people walking between Paya Lebar hub and Pasar Geylang Serai.

“When heavy rain comes, it’s easier for them — with their baju kurungs,” he said.

Mr Tan added authorities are also working with the National Environment Agency on future upgrading plans for the market.

With a growing number of options, Mr Tan added that work must carry on to ensure Pasar Geylang Serai remains the heart and hub of the community there.

He added that Pasar Geylang Serai must provide an attractive mix of products which are of good quality and provide value for money. It should also be a place for social and cultural activities.

Mr Tan stressed that as the area continues to be developed, the character and spirit of the place should not be lost.

“The physical part is really the easy part but you sometimes can forget the softer aspects of culture and the relationships that have been established. That’s where I said working with the local community here, the mosques here remains an important effort,” he said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 May 2014

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