Friday, 11 August 2017

(The Star) Seeking public feedback

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is considering to reintroduce the Jalan Ungku Puan outdoor hawker centre as part of the Sungai Segget rejuvenation project.

Planning and compliance department head Maimunah Jaafar said that Irda was open to suggestions, opinions and views from all stakeholders including Johor Baru folk for the betterment of the rejuvenation project.

“We will engage with all stakeholders on how to turn Johor Baru city into a vibrant place,” she said at the media briefing on updates of the river rejuvenation project at Irda’s office in Danga Bay here.

Dubbed “The Johor Baru Hard Rock Café”, the Jalan Ungku Puan hawker centre located opposite a Hindu temple was closed when Sungai Segget was covered in 2005 at a cost of RM6mil.

The 1.3km long and 25m wide Sungai Segget, which flows along Jalan Wong Ah Fook in downtown Johor Baru, had a reputation as one of the dirtiest rivers in the country.

The outdoor dining area, with about 200 hawkers, operated from 6pm to 4am daily and was popular with locals as well as Singaporeans for its local dishes.

Locals returning late after work in Singapore, frequently patronised the hawker centre due to its close proximity to the Johor Causeway as it was within walking distance.

Some of the hawkers were relocated behind alleys in Johor Baru while others ceased operations following the closure.

“We need to look at several issues if we were to reintroduce the hawker centre including proper disposable of food waste, washing area and cleanliness of the area,” said Maimunah.

Irda projects head Mohd Zam Mustaman said the river rejuvenation project had entered its third phase which was landscaping and beautification.

“It is aimed at bringing back the soul of Sungai Segget as one of the major tourist destinations in Johor,” he said.

Mohd Zam said Irda also encouraged landowners to develop and create landscaping in front of their premises in line with the beautification of Sungai Segget and Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

There are three proposed concept zones in the landscape of Sungai Segget namely the Historical and Heritage Zone; Cultural and Art Zone and Fun and Leisure Zone.

“We will engage with the public to obtain their feedback on the landscape design for Sungai Segget,” he said.