The 50-year-old market in Buntong is to be relocated nearby. Two sites have been identified; one at the Hindu temple opposite the Police station along Jalan Sungai Pari and the other on land adjacent to Spooner Road.
The Ministry of Local Housing has allocated RM6 million for the project and if the market is built at the site of the temple, another RM500,000 would be required to relocate the temple.
The consultant is working on the plans and construction would commence next year. All the traders in the present market would be allocated a stall in the new market.
A random survey of the traders revealed that except for a few traders, the majority of them are not aware that a new market is to be built. They were not informed by city council of the plan.
The traders are not willing to move and the main reasons given are that they have been doing business in the present market for a long time and if they move, would lose regular customers. They want the existing market to be renovated.
The present market is in an ideal location. Traders are also not happy with a multi-storey building which is not popular with the shoppers.
Ah Fook who is running a drinks stall said that most of his customers are senior citizens who live nearby and the market is their meeting place. They would be reluctant to go elsewhere. All the chicken sellers are not in favour of moving.
N. Kalyani, a vegetable seller said that city council had informed her of the new market. She is happy to move after being in one place for so long.
The city council needs to hold a public hearing with the traders, NGOs and the public on the new market and explain the reason for the relocation. The suggestions proposed during the meeting which are relevant, must be incorporated into the new building.
The market is for the people and it must satisfy their needs. The traders know what is best for them and their input is important.
Last, but not least the location of the market must not cause traffic jams along Jalan Sungai Pari.