With the Lunar New Year approaching, shops in HDB heartlands have come abuzz as residents patronise them to stock up for family gatherings. Shopkeepers would display their goods along public pathways to pull in the crowd. HDB and the local town councils have supported this by designating spaces for the Outdoor Display Areas (ODA) marked by yellow boxes.
Unfortunately, some shopkeepers go overboard, with indiscriminate stacking and display of goods that spill beyond the yellow boxes. This can greatly inconvenience shoppers, hindering the traffic flow. Worse, in some instances, this can compromise the fire safety of residents.
In a recent joint check by HDB, SCDF, NEA and the local town councils, we found that one quarter of the shops inspected have infringed the ODA guidelines. Most shopkeepers would promptly take corrective action when reminded. For a handful of serious cases, we had to issue them summons. I thank our shopkeepers for their cooperation in ensuring a clutter-free and safe shopping environment for our residents.