Waterloo Street Vendors Will Get Fixed Lots From 4 Jan 2021
Anyone who’s been around the Waterloo Street area in Bugis will know that it’s usually bustling during the day, thanks to the popular Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
There are vendors strategically located nearby, such as flower vendors, fortune tellers, and even a cobbler.
But this has led to concerns of overcrowding and obstruction, so authorities will make fixed lots for these vendors from 4 Jan 2021.
However, they must apply for a license & pay rent to operate in these lots.
Fire and safety risks with Waterloo Street vendors
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement on Tuesday (8 Dec) that vendors will get a 2m by 1.5 wide space.
The vendors are currently allowed to operate wherever they see fit outside the temples.
Authorities say this can cause a fire and safety hazard since they might not be spaced properly apart.
There are also discarded boxes strewn around the pathway. As such, the lots will ensure that there’s a 6m-wide space for fire engines to pass.
But vendors must pay a monthly rental fee for the lot, which is currently $48.15 for a 3-year temp occupancy.
They’ll also have to ballot for a lot on 14 Dec.
Vendors can get financial assistance from SLA if needed
SLA says the following currently operate in the Waterloo Street stretch and will all get a lot:
- 19 fortune tellers
- 19 flower vendors,
- 2 reflexologists
- 1 cobbler
The flower vendors will receive lots outside the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple so that devotees can continue to buy them conveniently.
However, they can’t transfer the lots to someone else.
That said, it’s possible that some vendors may face difficulties with the monthly rent.
As such, SLA will collect the license fee only from 1 Jun 2021.
Easing congestion issues in Waterloo Street
During this pandemic, the last thing we need is for large crowds to gather, and vendors may indirectly contribute to congestion.
This measure will help fix the congestion issues and fire safety risks seen currently.
Although things might get tougher as vendors have to pay monthly rent, we hope that they’ll get the support they need to continue.
Waterloo Street’s vibrancy is in part due to the vendors and we’d hate to see them go out of business as a result of this.
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Featured image adapted from Wikimedia Commons.