Channel NewsAsia

NEA applies for court summons against Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has applied for a court summons against the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council for an unlicensed trade fair at the Hougang Central Hub.

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) has applied for a court summons against the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council for an unlicensed trade fair at the Hougang Central Hub.

In a statement on Wednesday, NEA said four stall holders have also been served with notices to attend court for hawking without a licence.

NEA said that town councils are not allowed to engage in commercial activities, including the organisation and operation of fairs, as these are not related to their statutory function of management and maintenance of common property.

NEA said that the town council was reminded of this by the Ministry of National Development on 14 January 2014.

NEA added that the town council had continued to blatantly break the law, and wilfully exposed their tenants to legal action.

Between 2011 and January 2014, NEA had taken operators to court for operating a fair without a valid licence on 15 occasions.

Eleven operators have since been fined with amounts up to S$800, with the remaining four pending court mentions.

The fairs were located at Tampines, Toa Payoh, Simei, Clementi, Kovan City, Bukit Merah, Kampong Glam, Chinatown and Tanglin Halt.

There are currently 28 approved fairs in operation islandwide, three of which are located in the Aljunied/Hougang area.

Separately, the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council has issued the People's Association (PA) with three notices of offences regarding an ongoing Lunar New Year fair in Kovan.

Channel NewsAsia understands that the fair extended to about a metre into "common property".

The Kovan City Merchants Association, which organised the fair beside Heartland Mall, told Channel NewsAsia that it had set up the fair in the area leased by the PA.

But on January 7, it was informed by the town council that the tentages, which had been set up since December 31 last year, were beyond a metre of the allocated area.

Secretary of the Kovan City Merchants Association, Poon Cher Hock, said the merchants association was informed at a meeting with a town council officer that it might be fined S$1,000 a day, backdated to the day the tentages were put up.

Mr Poon said arrangements were made on January 7 to move the tentage into the allocated area.

But he said he was informed by the PA on the same night that it had received three notices of infringements.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna